Tabbouleh

Mint is notoriously difficult to use, and unfortunately it’s all too plentiful in our CSA boxes at this time of the year.  Tonight I decided to take a chance on tabbouleh!  The first time I ever had tabbouleh was in college.  I had a friend from Syria named Hasan.  One day Hasan went to the airport to pick up a new addition to his home – a wife named Rim.  Rim was a fabulous person who was completely shell-shocked to be suddenly transported to the middle of Kansas.  She wanted to be a good wife, though, so she invited me over for her first “married life in America” dinner party.  Funny thing – I was raised in a sort of “clean your plate” atmosphere and in the Middle East they take hospitality to an extreme.  You’re considered a bad host if you see the bottom of a guest’s plate.  So that converged in a scene where I was desperately trying to finish the 7 course meal that was put in front of me to make Rim feel good about her cooking and hosting skills, and Rim was desperately trying to shovel more food onto my plate to fulfill her duties as a good hostess. I didn’t have to eat for days after that meal!

One of those seven courses involved tabbouleh.  I searched and decided to take on this recipe.  You’ll see that my tabbouleh isn’t nearly as green as the one pictured in the recipe.  I did make a few changes.  I only had one cucumber, so I only used one.  I had yellow and red cherry tomatoes, which worked great.  I didn’t have green onions, so I skipped those.  I had parsley frozen from last season, so I used all I had, which wasn’t quite a cup.  In all, it meant a less green product, but still a tasty one.  Even my husband liked it.  He was dubious when he saw me shopping for bulgur at the store, but he was pleased with our culinary experiment tonight.  It’s a great meal for eating when it’s hot outside because the tabbouleh is cooling and refreshing without being filling.  It definitely does need to sit for a few hours before you eat it.  I tasted it when I made it last night and the flavors were much more developed tonight at dinner.  Definitely one to keep in the back pocket for mint season!

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