Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today, in the midst of a lazy Sunday, I finally got around to taking a photo of a gift that I mentioned in my 'trapped in the Brussels airport' entry. It still resembles, almost too closely, a kit for some sort of illegal activity....but apparently it can make some kicking spaghetti-candy.
After an unplanned trip to the market, I came home with a lunch plan - Tabbouleh Salad. To be honest, with the exception of gorging on Tabbouleh at various Middle Eastern restaurants around the world and watching while Alia's mom put it together a couple of times in my youth, I have little face-to-face experience with this cracked wheat dish, and it usually falls second to the likes of Fattush or Hummous when I am placing a La Luna order. However, inspired by the salad that took up most of my veg platter yesterday, I was up for the challenge. Fresh parsley, fresh mint, cucumber and tomatoes were picked up at the market, and just last night I discovered a sack full of bulgar that was tucked away from a December (or maybe November) trip to Shanti Health shop. I was ready.
It was a quick salad to make, and it didn't seem to suffer from being eaten a.s.a.p - without what I assume to be the usual soaking up of the lemon and olive oil that comes from hours in a restaurant refrigerator. In fact, the bulgar was still warm when I tipped it into the salad bowl.
There are loads of other ways to make this bad boy; K and I had a lengthy conversation on the variety of ways we have seen this dish served: with chick peas, with pine nuts, with raisins, with coriander, with name like it...throw it in.

Here is my more traditional approach: (which if you aren't too keen on you are more then welcome to check out Delia's version, or Robin Robertson's in Vegan Planet)

2 bunches of flat leaf parsley
2 sticks of mint - pluck off the leaves and make a rolande (roll the leaves up into a little cigar and chop it up)
1 huge tomato
1/2 a cucumber
1 cup of bulgar wheat (i had loads left over)
olive oil
citrus juice (i used half of a grapefruit)

While the bulgar was cooking (super easy grain to cook: 1 cup of wheat, 2 cups of water, boil and simmer for 20 minutes - stir and add water if needed) I chopped and diced all of the other ingredients adding them to a large salad bowl. I simply threw in the bulgar when it was finished cooking, added the oil and citrus and gave it a good mix. I served it with some citron olives, 1/2 a loaf of bread, carrot and cucumber sticks, hummous and purree aubergine.
It was fantastic and I plan on reinventing it as often as possible.
And I can't leave out my other treats from the market:
My terrace was looking a little lame with only a dead mini-christmas tree to brighten it up. So, I brought home some modest greenery with the hope to build a small rainforest by the time I have to go away to Slovenia, leaving them with nothing more then the hint of my return.

I am reading an excellent fiction book right now. I can't remember the exact name of it, so you will have to wait until I dig it out of my gym bag. I am dying to read some Anne Carson right now....does anyone know where my Anne Carson books are? The Beauty of The Husband....Hmmm...Carson, Cranberry Bubble Bath and the potential of early Bed Time. Maybe a Edith Piaf CD.....Nice. This vegan is signing off.

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