Here is a guest blogger on Mrs Crocodile for your reading pleasure: Christine Gerber-Rutt. American and Swiss, she now lives in Qatar. I love how she chose to write about this chopped up Middle Eastern dish. Enjoy!
Given the choice between being in a kitchen or being, well, anywhere else, I’d choose the kitchen. All the important stuff happens in the kitchen: birthday cakes are baked, wine bottles opened, kisses stolen from the cook. That’s why I like being the cook. Most days.
Then we moved to the Middle East. All the cheesy food I’d learned to make in Switzerland is totally not happening here. Eating melted cheese in the desert is like eating mega-sized Slushies in Iceland. It happens, but wouldn’t you rather eat tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh, even that isn’t what I always thought it was. I’ve tried making tabbouleh in the States and even in Switzerland, which seemed totally out of place since it lacks any dairy products whatsoever, but give me a pat on the back, I tried anyway. Turns out the main ingredient is parsley. In my mind parsley will always be plate decoration. I’m certain that any scientific study would unequivocally support the fact that in the States parsley is most often used to encourage burger and fry eaters to feel better about their choices. I don’t like parsley; don’t like burger and fries for that matter, unless the fries have that slightly dry, slightly smoked taste with almost no salt and a side of catsup, only Heinz will do. What can I say, I’m a catsup snob.
When I made tabbouleh, I searched out recipes that had more bulgar than parsley. While bulgar isn’t on my top ten list of favorite foods, it does have a demeanor of health and is hands down better than parsley. Hop back to the Middle East and here you have it, tubs of tabbouleh. And it’s green. Why? Because it’s made the way the Lebanese intended it to be - with loads and loads of parsley and just a touch of mint. Even the local (French) grocery store gets it right. Turns out if you get it right, parsley has a pleasing crunch to it with a little bit of grind. Addicting. And there’s no need for me to cook it up in my kitchen. That’s okay I’m content to stand there opening plastic containers filled with store-bought tabbouleh and receive stolen kisses.
Even if you don’t like tabbouleh or parsley or bulghar, check out the dance video by GoRemy. Taste that parsley and shake your bum bum. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FaNzrtu0KM
Step right up; cut it up and mix it up.