Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Tale of Two Tabboulehs

This weekend, I had a chance to consult the professionals..... the professionals at making Lebanese food. Hubby suggested that we should visit Sunnin, and let them work their Mezze Magic. I had never been there before, which I find shocking! The food was fantastic! Easily the best middle eastern food I've ever eaten. Better yet, the menu very clearly marks which items are vegan, a huge plus in my book! Also, they were happy to bring us a Mezze Platter sans meat. A Mezze Platter which included not just tabbouleh, but baba ghanoush as well! I was excited to see just how much I would enjoy the real deal!

So, they bring out a small bowl of hummus, along with a small bowl of baba ghanoush. This was just unfair to the poor baba ghanoush! How could it possibly compete against that hummus..... which I must say was some of the best hummus I have ever had. I could have happily eaten a tureen of it! But I tell ya, that baba ghanoush was good! I enjoyed it, and I hereby consider baba ghanoush to no longer be my Forgotten Foe, but to be my Found Friend!
Tabbouleh at Sunnin. Look at all of that parsley!!!
The tabbouleh was authentic. It was almost all parsley, with but a mere sprinkling of bulgar in it. It did, in fact, have the consistency of wet grass clippings, but I didn't hold that against it. The flavor was pretty good as well. I'm not gonna lie.... it was still my least favorite part of the mezze, but I really did like it ok. I liked it well enough that if I am ever invited to a traditional feast at Casey Kasem's house, I would not reject the tabbouleh and cause my host to go on a rant! I would happily go from an uptempo song directly into eating some Goddamn tabbouleh, and I would not find it to be ponderous in the least!

Last night, I made the Final Tabbouleh before calling it done. I made a Chicken Tabbouleh with Tahini Drizzle. This tabbouleh had almost nothing in common with the authentic one from Sunnin! It's like comparing Dick Sargent to Dick York! My tabbouleh was thick with bulgar, and while it included parsley, mint and green onions, it didn't go wild with any of them. Also, I had a stroke of genius, and I chopped up the tomatoes, then let them sit and drain in a colander for a good 30 minutes. As a result, my tabbouleh was not soggy! I enjoyed my unorthodox, Dick Sargent tabbouleh better than the authentic Dick York one.... I pretty much loved the tabbouleh I made, and I would recommend that recipe to anyone! Yes, I said it: I loved tabbouleh. Tabbouleh = Owned!
I guess my analogy doesn't exactly work, because who doesn't prefer Darren #1 to Darren #2?!?
Also with dinner, I decided to revisit radishes. I had gotten a couple of tips from friends about them, which I tried while I was preparing dinner. One was to simply 1. Sprinkle radish with salt 2. Eat. And that was good! Another tip was to slice up a radish and put some drops of hot sauce on the slices. And I'll be damned, that was a actually really good! I used most of the radishes in a Lemony Cucumber Salad, which was just cucumbers, orange bell pepper and radishes tossed in a very simple lemon and olive oil dressing. And I had no problem whatsoever eating radishes in that context! I even liked them! Radishes have been defeated!

But because I didn't want to get too cocky, (and I am not ready to subject myself to the seaweed snacks again just yet) I made sure to drink some cranberry juice before bed. Yep, that knocked me down a peg or two! Disgusting.

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