Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Middle-Eastern Feast (with cats)

OK, food in a moment - first I have to show you this:

And this:

She's sure it's all for her! Quite a look on her face when she was told to get down. Awww...

Back to the food. The inspiration for this came from Pinch My Salt: she did a hummus post last week, and I poked around on her site and found some great recipes for other things to go with it. Then Bob had a fancy middle-eastern spread for Father's Day, and that sealed the deal.

Originally was going to try making pita too, but oh well.

Herewith some fun facts from Wikipedia:
  • The largest recorded bowl of tabbouleh was made on June 9, 2006 in Ramallah in the West Bank. It weighed 3,348 lbs, and earned a Guinness World Record.
  • In the movie Bruno, Sacha Baron-Cohen (in character as Bruno) confuses Hummus and Hamas in an interview with Israeli and Palestinian scholars, creating much confusion.
  • Come to think of it, did you see You Don't Mess with the Zohan? (A work of genius.) Hummus features there too...
  • Nothing funny about tzatziki, apparently.
The Recipes

All from Pinch My Salt:


Everything was very easy, so nothing went wrong! It was all delicious. The sweetness of the tabbouleh made a great contrast with the sharpness of the tzatziki.


  • Would certainly have been easier with a food processor - my mini-prep is very mini, so had to blend everything in little batches. Forgot to put the oil on the top, oops.
  • Had to leave out the garlic, of course :( But it was still great.


  • Didn't use persimmons - just some apricots and a nectarine that we had already, and they worked perfectly.
  • Used about half the amount of herbs, just because we didn't have enough, and it was fine (though I know it's supposed to be very herby).


  • Bumped up the mint a bit - Mark Bittman had half a cup, and Pinch My Salt had a tablespoon, so I split the difference and used a quarter cup, which seemed to work.
  • Drained the cucumbers but didn't strain the yoghurt, and it was still good (even the next day).





On the table, Jack throwing a pita:


jack said...

thanks for capturing me in mid-toss, sort of like the fish market guys in seattle! i'd like to point out that i normally don't throw food around the kitchen...these pitas were fresh off the grill and a little too hot to handle.

Bob said...

Heh, my brother was going to make pita too, but didn't get around to it. Looks great, I bet I would have liked that tabbouleh better than the one my sister in law makes... but don't tell her. ;)

Kate said...

Yummy! I tried making hummus once, but the quantity was so small the blade of my blender just whizzed above the ingredients! Should give it another shot.

And tabbouleh with couscous? I thought it was always bulgar wheat (I've had bulgar wheat in my cupboard for ages and whenever I look for a recipe to use it up, tabbouleh always comes up. Have yet to actually make it though!) Yours looks great!

Cat looks gorgeous too!

Yesica N. Cook said...

@Jack: right, tosser! :P

@Bob: your secret is safe with me... thanks!

@Kate: the hummus was great, definitely try it - she has a lot of other versions too. And yes, Ms. Smartypants (assuming you're my buddy Kate, rather than a random Kate, in which case I'd be *much* more polite) it is officially supposed to be bulgar wheat, but this recipe used couscous, and it seems like a lot of people do. You could probably do this with your bulgar wheat instead though? And thanks - the cat thinks so as well! :)

Anonymous said...

three of my favorites and wonderful all together i imagine - this has really inspired me for the coming weekend

Yesica N. Cook said...

Thanks so much, rachel! Have actually made two more recipes of yours - the ratatouille, and the barely-cooked tomatoes & spaghetti - both were great! (Just haven't posted them yet, idle tart that I am!)