Technology doesn't like me, and the feeling is mutual. I took the longest time to be persuaded to get facebook for myself back in school when everyone had it already. It was a miracle I started blogging. And for the longest time, I've resisted getting twitter (Why would anyone care what I'm doing at this minute? Why's there a word limit? What's a #? Cute bird I guess.)
I don't know why, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate it, but I've gone over to the dark side. If anyone would like to follow me (as in Mummy, I can cook) on facebook or twitter, please do.
I'm also going over to the much brighter Greece next week, so there will be no news from me for a week on the blog. Oh, and facebook and twitter. I'm starting to question my decision already. Onto happier thoughts, I'm really excited to get a much-needed break after a crazy school term, and in sunny Greece with her gorgeous beaches and fascinating history and most of all, her food. I've already done my research i.e. highlighted the signature Greek dishes, chowhoundedthe must-eat places, and annotated, circled and double-underlined the foods I want to eat.
Here's a little bit of Greece before I fly. Tabouli is usually made with bulgur wheat, but I don't have that, so I used quinoa instead. It's has similar tiny fluffy nutty grains, while being gluten-free and incredibly high in everything good for you (though with all whole grains, do soak to ease digestion). Don't dismiss it as some yucky health food store "thing"; it has a delicious nutty flavour and I also use it as an alternative to couscous for moroccan-style food.
serves 4-6 as a mezze
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed and preferably soaked for a few hours)
3 large handfuls of parsley
1 handful of mint
2 stalks spring onions (or 1/2 a red onion, but an asian kitchen = spring onions)
1 large tomato*
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
unrefined sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
*At Pimlico farmer's market, we have organic tomatoes from The Tomato Stall, pretty much throughout the year. I don't know how they do it, I think it's some greenhouse technology, coupled with apparently really good weather at the Isle of Wight. But I find the tomatoes have only started becoming sweeter and juicier this past week, hurrah!
1. First, cook the quinoa. I like to saute the grains in a little oil first to release its nutty flavour before adding water, bringing to a boil, and letting it simmer till just cooked, about 10 min +/-. To keep it light and 'al dente', I typically add less than twice the amount of quinoa, especially since I also soak it. Fluff and leave to cool.
2. Then prepare the rest of the salad by chopping the vegetables and herbs up finely.
3. Combine evoo, lemon, salt and pepper, and mix with everything else.
That's it! Super easy and refreshing, you can mix up a larger batch at a go and chuck it in the fridge, having it whenever you want to feel virtuous. You'll notice there's very little quinoa in this, but I read that authentic tabouli is like that, very much a refreshing salad on a hot day, and a very light side to accompany heavier mains. It's a burst of green freshness after what seems like forever on the root vegetable front. Here's to the sun!