August 03, 2010


Last week, we had a visit. My older brother came over from Sweden to spend a bit of time with us. We hadn’t seen each other for over a year so we really enjoyed being together again. We showed him around Exeter and did a few excursions on the coast. Of course we had plenty of lovely food: we can’t help it in my family, we always eat nice things when we’re together. Amongst all the things we ate and drank were local crab sandwiches, summery salads, Pimm’s, fruity cocktails, verrines, tarts, burritos, poached peaches, and so on... We also went to cafés and restaurants I had never been to before, sitting in the sunshine.

Time flew, we were busy, and my brother is already gone. I appreciate a lot having visits of family and friends. It's always a pleasure to make them discover where I live and welcome them at home.

I didn't have time to make pictures of what we cooked last week so I thought I would share with you today one of my classic summer dishes: tabbouleh. This Middle Eastern salad is always welcome on a hot day. I usually prepare it the day before so that flavours have time to develop overnight. My recipe is a variation of the traditional recipe and includes chickpeas. These ones, associated with the wheat from the couscous, are a good source of protein.

Tabbouleh - serves 4 to 6
  • 250g couscous
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tomatoes cut in very small cubes
  • 1 small cucumber, cut in very small cubes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • A good bunch of mint, finely chopped
  • The juice of 2 lemons
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  1. Put the couscous into a large salad bowl. Cover with 300ml boiling water. Cover the dish and leave to stand for 5min. Take a fork and separate the couscous grains with it.
  2. Add the onions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas and mint to the bowl. Season with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Cover with a lid or cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. Take out of the fridge 10min before serving.

Taboulé - pour 4 à 6 personnes

  • 250g de couscous
  • 3 oignons nouveaux, finement émincés
  • 4 tomates, coupées en très petits dés
  • 1 petit concombre, coupé en très petits dés
  • 1 boîte de pois chiches, égouttée
  • 1 bouquet de menthe, émincé
  • Le jus de 2 citrons
  • 4cs d'huile d'olive
  • sel, poivre
  1. Mettre le couscous dans un grand saladier. Verser dessus 300ml d'eau bouillante. Couvrir et laisser gonfler pendant 5 min. Séparer ensuite les grains à la fourchette.
  2. Ajouter les oignons, les tomates, le concombre, les pois chiches et la menthe. Assaisonner avec le jus de citron, l'huile d'olive, du sel et du poivre. Couvrir le saladier avec un couvercle ou du film plastique et mettre au réfrigérateur pendant la nuit. Sortir du réfrigérateur 10min avant de servir.

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