Tabouleh Blues Tale

Tabouleh and Hummus toasts

When I was a kid, my Dad wasn’t the cook in the house; my mother – and through silly cultural reasons- naturally adopted the role. That said, it didn’t mean that my father, like other men in Brittany couldn’t or wouldn’t cook; “au contraire mon frère” like we say in some parts of Dublin 4. I remember how, a long time ago, an Irish guy explained to me that a man who cooks is considered as, well, a bit of a sissy… To which I replied a bit surprised and annoyed at that silly cliché ( now long gone), that if cooking was making a man more effeminate, having a shower with 14 other lads after the Sunday Game must just be a bit of male bonding so… I know it was a cheap shot, but it just came out like that. I’ll stick to cooking thank you.

Choice 3a
Happy Dad

The memories I have of my Father cooking are pretty vivid, and attached to really fond and fun moments. When we were very young, he regularly picked us up from school, during the week or even Saturdays while our mum was doing the weekly shopping; we had to go a half day at the beginning of the weekend, what a nice way to bomb the whole weekend! This practice is now gone, kids in France go on Wednesday morning instead. He used to cook “sugared omelette” our favourite, a secret recipe that we thought only our Dad had the secret, friends never heard about it, for sure it had to be his creation! What an honour! ( now that I think about it, I find it a bit gross); there was a lot of excitement when the sweet egg mixture was on the cards, or simply mince burgers and pasta… We didn’t care that much about what was on the menu my sister and I, because those lunches meant fun and Rock’n’Roll. While the food was cooking, Dad played great music to us: 33 vinyls ranging from Led Zeppelin to Joy Division, Talking Heads to Bob Dylan, Blues was always present and that guy called Alan Vega from Brooklyn or a crazy band remembered as “The Cramps” had us in stitches. Those insane – yet simple- lunches gave us a great love for music and to this day, my sister, father and I keep sharing what is the best out there.

Over 400 cd’s now!
Some favoured choices from past lunches

The other great bit of fun, was the aperitif; wine was always present at the table, and Saturday was a special day. After visiting his friend Pat from the music store around the corner, we would go to a “cellar”, a proper wine shop called la “Vinothèque” ( La Vinoteca I guess). The old lady had a crazy range of great wines, she knew her gig and my Father really enjoyed the banter; we were more interested in the really cool fruit juices she also sold, not the supermarket stuff,  guava and papaya made Saturday evening really special, while listening to Muddy Waters for me or the B-52’s for my sister… Now she likes Heavy Metal! Some Princess!!!

Religious aperitif and Rock’n’Roll

But I guess I am drifting a bit here, and that’s OK… These fond memories brought me back to an innocent time… I was saying that my Dad wasn’t quite the cook in the house, and that isn’t quite true. He was a great man for making “Tabouleh”, the wonderful couscous salad from the Middle East; July and August, my mum would make ratatouille with the veggies from the garden, my father took 24 h to make his perfect Tabouleh, or rather to let all the ingredients’ flavours binding together; he was so proud of it, with loads of fresh mint, parsley, peppers and even black olives… I loved the cucumber in it, bursting with fresh summer flavours. The taste of our summers, ratatouille, green beans and tabouleh, picnics or at home! Now with you, I’ll share my own…

Dad and myself on a summer’s Picnic

Hungry Breton’s  Tabouleh: You’ll Need

  • 150g of organic couscous
  • 10 organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • 5 Mange tout
  • 1/3 Red Pepper
  • 1/3 Green Pepper
  • 1 pinch of ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch of cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Few leaves of fresh fennel
  • Few leaves of fresh mint
  • 10 cl of good olive oil
  • 5 cl of lime juice
  • 1 hard boiled egg ( optional)

How To…

Well, you can leave the couscous with all the ingredients overnight, just like that and it will taste better; that said, 1 volume of couscous = the same volume of hot water. Just add all the ingredients after they are finely chopped…

Tabouleh close up

For The Hummus…

  • 150g of chickpeas
  • 1 lime pressed
  • 10cl of good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of Almond paste
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • The tip of a tbsp of Cayenne pepper

Just blend all the ingredients together, and serve with toasted rye sourdough bread and olive oil…

Hummus and Tabouleh
With an egg and Cayenne pepper…

Keep Well and Eat Happy

Keep on a Rockin’

Slán Tamall


8 thoughts on “Tabouleh Blues Tale

  1. It seems that every family on Earth has its own Tabouleh recipe. My mother’s tabouleh comes out very red and is more tomato-based than any other ingredient, though there is cucumber and mint too. I tried out myself a different tabouleh recipe last week, with only 4 ingredients along with couscous: mint, cucumber, feta, and olive oil. It was pretty good and fresh, but I’ll definitely try your recipe, I like the idea of cumin and cherry tomatoes for a change. For the hummus, if I may dare a suggestion, it tastes much more like Lebanon when you use sesame paste instead of almond paste (but that is if you want to stick to the Lebanese theme). By the way, you know that already, but I love all of the tableware items you use in your posts (thus in your life I guess!?!!)

    1. Thank you Sophie! I guess your are right, so many recipe, not enough time to try them all. I used some organic almond paste, often for Breakfast and I wanted to have a bit of fun with the hummus; I tried it with organic peanut butter and sea salt once, it was pretty good. But yeah, tahini is the way to go. This dish is made by a potter from County Cavan, I like to use different things, I am always on the look out for some new stuff 😉 Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  2. haha totally agree! Men that cook are very sexy I think and somehow the seem more sharp and clever to me. You have to know you S** in the kitchen. BE meticulous, be precise and don’t forget a detail. Best chefs in the world are men, but when they go home their wifes cook! I heard a 3 michelin star guy say that and even though I get that he wants to stop “working” I think it is a bit bizarre.
    My mum taught my dad and myself how to cook and we have all surpassed her long ago now… she is just not that into it, and we are! happy 21st century 😉

    1. I love your comment, very true; regarding your Mum, it reminded me of a survey done here a few years back about comfort food: Men spoke about stews, big breakfast fries or of course Sunday roast. Women mentioned Ice cream, a slice of cake with tea… Surprising results first, then people realized that since women would be the most likely cook in a couple, it was associated as a chore, more work than pleasure etc… All very interesting. Thank you for dropping by, always a pleasure 🙂 😉

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