How to Use this Blog

This blog is designed to be used like a cookbook. I've put tags on each recipe so you can go to the section on that topic just by clicking on the word in the cloud or the list. Some recipes are under more than one category to help you find what you're looking for.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Italian Tabouli Salad

Tabouli (or Tabouleh) is a traditional Middle-Eastern salad.  It has all the regional flavors of cucumber, onion, tomatoes, garlic and lemon.  It's made with bulgar wheat.

Recently I've been reading about Quinoa (keen-wa) and how it's the miracle grain.  Supposedly it has  great stuff in it:  complete protein, fiber and vitamins. I realized you could substitute quinoa for the bulgar wheat and use traditional pesto in place of the cucumber and lemon flavors. 

Cook up a batch of quinoa:  twice as much water as grain with a little salt.  (I used 1/4 cup of grain with 1/2 cup water for my first batch.)  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed by the grain.  Add some freshly made pesto with finely chopped tomato and onions until you get it how you like it. 

You're done.  It will keep in the fridge or you could just eat it all now.


We are approaching the height of garden season in Texas.  Everything you planted a couple of months ago should be bearing fruit.  You did plant a garden, didn't you?  Shame on you if you didn't. There is no better reason to plant a garden than tomatoes and basil.  I've been making pesto and doleing it out to selected friends at the risk of denuding my own basil plants..  I'll need to plant more than two pots next year.  Basil is very easy to grow.  You can put it in an old plastic bucket and just water it when it looks like it needs it.  Pick off the tips when it starts to flower.  You want the leaves not flowerrs and a little selective pruning will make it bush out even fuller.  It will continue to grow and bear leaves until the first frost in November.  Once it gets cold the plant is toast and there's no more basil until next spring. The experts say you can freeze pesto but I haven't had any luck doing that.

Here's my recipe for pesto so the neighbors won't have to depend on me.


2 cups of basil leaves
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts (or any other kind-I use pecans or almonds)
2 cloves garlic
olive oil

I put everything in the blender and slowly add the olive oil until it's the right consistency.  Scrape down the sides of the blender to make sure everything gets blended.

This makes about a cup and you'll want to eat it the same day you make it.  As it sits the pesto will darken and absorb the oil and won't be as pretty as the bright green when it's fresh.