L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

10 September 2006 Blog Home : September 2006 : Permalink

Taboulé and Cous Cous

So Sarah Yoffa and I are disagreeing about the important things - food.

Francis, my good sir, tabouleh is 90% chopped leafy and 10% couscous, all of it drowned in spices and oil (olive oil, OF COURSE!!! I am soooo jealous of your olive trees, mister!)

How do you add tabouleh as an "ingredient" to salad? Gonna have to find/post a photo of tabouleh and see if we are having a language/translation problem here *grin* I make couscous, but not tabouleh. Don't like the mint (and mint leaves are an essential ingredient in authentic tabouleh).

In her new response she says taboulé looks like this:

So DirtyDingus is having a little confusion, methinks. No, I haven't gone off and made a tabouleh salad--I hate mint and the minced mint leaves are pretty much the "secret ingredient" in tabouleh. You might as well leave out the lemon (*ack*)

There are definitely different styles and recipes for this traditional Lebanese salad, but the image (stolen from the StockFood web site) is what I'm used to seeing when hear "tabouleh." Maybe a slightly more green level on the proportions of parsley/mint to couscous. This one is heavy on the couscous (which I love).

And all becomes clear because I think taboule can also look like this picture of one the boss prepared a couple of days ago and which we still have lying about in the fridge. OK it has green bits in it - cucumber in this case - but it isn't green overall and it definitely isn't 90% green leaves. I've had tomato taboulé, various red, yellow and orange coloured taboulés etc. Since these recipes all come from France via N Africa it is entirely possible that somewhere on the path they have become corrupted from the pure original but when I'm talking taboule what I mean is couscous plus some mint / lemon flavouring plus some other ingredients TBD and about 50% of it being couscous.

This one, for example, has tomato, cucumber, feta and corn - though I think that last touch was just the boss being frugal and using up the remains of a previously opened tin of corn - rather than part of a genuine taboulé recipe.

Oh and somewhere at the end of the post she also mentions hummus. I've always found that the best hummus is made at home and this recipe looks like the sort I really like because it includes olive oil - I'm not sure about the sumac and pine nuts though and I might replace the black pepper with some red chili but as the article says everyone has their own ideas and I definitely like the cumin idea that is apparently a Syrian variant.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin