"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

new stuff

I’ve got a couple of new things for you on this hot as fire Wednesday in Mississippi!

Though I claim to be Mediterranean, and half of me is, I’d never actually had tabbouleh (pronounced teh-BOO-lee) until I moved to Jackson. Some time ago, I went to lunch with some friends at a local mom-and-pop restaurant (We Love Yogurt for all you Jacksonians) and was introduced to this lovely Lebanese salad. WLY was my only outlet for my new greeny love until discovering my new favorite restaurant Ely’s offered it as a delightful alternative to the standard house-salald-with-ranch. So excited was I! This weekend perched on the couch during one of the many hours of Food Network I watch, one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten, made it for a picnic party (I desperately want to be her friend – to be invited to a Barefoot Contessa party signals your arrival in the food world). And as Ina always does, she made it look so easy. So I tried it, and success! Here’s the recipe:

Tabbouleh (adapted from Food Network recipe)

1 cup bulghur wheat
1 ½ cup boiling water
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (not that bottled junk)
¼ cup good olive oil (I like Bertolli)
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)
3/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (be sure to get flat-leaf; the curly leaf has much less flavor)
2 tomatoes, chopped, small dice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in boiling water, and add lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover to refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.

*This recipe is super-easy but pretty time consuming with all the chopping, slicing and dicing. Totally worth the work, but make it ahead when you have plenty of time, not at 9:00 p.m. like I did. The recipe on the website says 3 ½ teaspoons of salt, and it was WAY too salty for my taste. Come to find out after reading the reviews (which I should get better about), the recipe is supposed to read 1 ½ teaspoons. Much better. Though I still had some for my lunch today. Also, Ina used halved cherry tomatoes in her recipe, but I used regular tomatoes – it looks more authentic. She also in her show added a slice of good feta and served it in a pita pocket. What a great summer lunch!

Take a look at the right-hand side of my blog, and you’ll see that I’ve added a new little feature – the “what I’m reading” section. I love to know what other people like to read, so I thought maybe, just maybe, you’d like to know what I’m devouring at the moment. And after I finish each book, I’ll be sure to review so you’ll know what you’re getting into.

Have a great hump day.


Harris Helen said...

2 things:

1- I LOVE INA GARTEN! For the longest time, I truly thought her name was Contessa. I love to cook. We have domestically emerged.

2- I'm reading the book Shutter Island. Have you heard of it? It's a psychological thriller that I think you'd like! It is going to be a movie in October with Leo DiCaprio.

mary-kathryn said...

aren't you laughing at "such a pretty fat"... i did.

Jan Johnson said...

Never heard of the book but I hope you're not reading it because you think you're fat! Please girl, you've got a LONG ways to go before even being close to fat!

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