On these terribly warm spring nights, when humidity leaves us without patience and kindness, we call for S.O.S.
We’ve finally given in and are sleeping with the air-conditioning, because Buenos Aires’ nights have gotten too hot and humid for us to fall asleep. There is a general thickness in the air, which makes walking feel like you are pushing through the sand. A blanket of heat envelopes the city and makes it extremely uncomfortable to be outdoors or within an arm’s length of another person.
The high temperatures are making everybody slightly more irritable, more hot-tempered, and less considerate.
You feel sticky five minutes after showering, and sometimes on the Subway, I am unfortunate enough to be standing next to a man whose shirt has been perspired through, leaving it almost transparent, as beads of perspiration drip down his face.
Unpleasant, I know. Which is why I’m trying to find ways to cool down, keep sane, and be calm.
One of these ways include eating refreshing foods like salads instead of warm risottos (which I love so much), and including more vegetables and fruits in my meals, leaving out heavier foods such as grilled meats and the likes.
So when my cooking professor Pelusa Molina introduced the appetizer during class last night, I jumped at the chance to be able to make and create a Tabbouleh salad that I’ve never tried before.
The best part about trying a new cuisine is being exposed to a different culture, and developing an understanding of what people in a faraway continent eat and are like.
Jess from Feast with Me highlighted in her post Food for Thought: On Cookbooks, Foodies and Food Blogs a comment by Florence Fabricant stating that “Food is sharing. The root word for companion — com pain, bread together.”
This is probably the reason why so many people express their love through food.
My grandparents insist on serving me portion after portion of abalone, fish and rice whenever I visit during Chinese New Year, because it’s their way of telling me they love me. Celebrations, festivals and homecomings are also always filled with plenty of food, an expression of the delight and joy representative of the events.
And I believe that the reason why food bloggers thrive on showcasing what we’ve eaten or cooked is simply because we’d like the world and the passers-by to share in the joy we derive from the simple cooking in the kitchen, or fancy dining in a gourmet restaurant. Today’s post is a result of the former.
Tabbouleh (also tabouleh or tabbouli) is a Levantine Arab salad traditionally made of bulgur, tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion and garlic, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, although there are various other variations such as using couscous instead of bulgur. It is also possible to add in bell peppers (either red, green or yellow). In Turkey, this salad is prepared with alot of tomatoes and spicy pepper sauce, and the cucumbers tend to be left out. In Maghreb, it is prepared with couscous. Wikipedia also tells us that Tabbouleh is traditionally served as part of a mezze in the Arab world, it was adopted by Cypriots, variations of it are made by Turks and Armenians, and it has become a popular ethnic food in Western cultures.
This is a cool, easy-to-prepare salad to serve on blisteringly hot afternoons or thick, warm nights. It brings to the table refreshing colors and a happy mood. And it’s perfect for cooling down. Did I already mention that I made a ton of it, and have it in my refrigerator as reserve?
TABBOULEH SALAD (Serves 6)
1) 250g of very fine bulgur
2) 1 onion (chopped finely)
3) 150g of spring onions (chopped finely)
4) 1 cup of chopped parsley
5) 2 tomatoes (diced)
6) 2 cucumbers (diced)
7) 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh mint
8) 2 lemons (for the lemon juice)
9) 200ml of olive oil
10) Salt & pepper to taste
1) Wash and rinse the bulgur several times, changing the water as needed.
2) Once washed, allow bulgur to soak in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain the water completely.
3) Chop onion, spring onions, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, mint
4) Mix all the ingredients together, adding salt & pepper to taste
5) Chill the salad in the refridgerator for 1 – 2 hours
6) Mix olive oil and lemon juice together to make the dressing
7) Serve salad chilled with the olive oil & lemon juice dressing
Soak Bulgur in warm water for 15 minutes:
After bulgur has been soaked in water:
Toss the ingredients together:
Fresh Tabbouleh Salad for a Warm Spring Night: