|Pat Deuson, Novelist and Cook|
Tabouleh is a tasty, nutritious Middle Eastern dish that Pat has recently discovered. Here's what she has to say about it.
|Tabouleh, so colorful and fresh. . . tasty, too|
Food is a big part of the lives of Neva, Linnea and all those who live and work at Cooks Inn. It's a big part of my life too. I'm an avid cook and spend as much time cooking [sometimes more] than I do writing. This week-end I rediscovered tabouleh.
Like all folk recipes there are as many as there are cooks. It's got a flexibility that allows creativity as much as use it up, don't throw it out thrift. So when people were unexpectedly coming for lunch on a beautiful California afternoon, sandwiches, veg beans from the freezer, tabouleh with garden tomatoes and fresh peach and raspberry compote came to mind. So how do you make tabouleh ?
You start with kasha. What is kasha? Cracked grain. There are a lot of grains that can be cracked and I've tried several. The one I prefer is wheat. I think it takes a special kind of person to eat buckwheat groat kasha, but it's often the one find you find mentioned.
Raw grain is tough to chew and needs to be softened, which will take a fairly long time. You can do this yourself or buy kasha in a processed form so it's as easy to cook as processed couscous. I've seen couscous made by hand in Morocco many times. It is a lengthy and involved process, the cooking even more so. Processed couscous and kasha are much much easier and faster. But even processed kasha needs to be softened and hydrated. The easiest way I've found is to bring 1 3/4 cup of water to a boil, add 1 cup of kasha, a pinch of salt, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat and let stand for about 10 more minutes. Fluff lightly with a fork.
After that the fun begins. Do you have some grilled or poached chicken to dice, a little roasted corn, or some diced tomatoes just dripping with summer time goodness? Or some arugula and toasted pecans with cukes and sweet balsamic vinegar mellowed by some savory olive oil? Season with salt/pepper and serve it warm or room temperature. Or do you want a summer salad - tabouleh - for those impromptu guests who you know will set the table while you chop garden tomatoes, cukes. a bit of fresh mint, some green or red onion all sauced with some good olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper? They will love it.
For more of Neva Moore and the doings in and about Cooks Inn, the first book in the series, Superior Longing, published by Echelon press, is out today! The first ebook of this series is available on Kindle, Nook, Omnilit and Smashwords. Pat is currently writing the next book, Collective Instinct.
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Try the recipe and pick up a copy of Superior Longing from Echelon Press.