Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Kohlrabi tabbouleh

IngredientsGiant (aka Israeli) cous-cous (I bought mine from Millie's Organic in Leeds), tomatoes, parsley, 1 lime, salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin, kohlrabi, cucumber.
Preparation: 10 minutes

Traditionally when I make tabbouleh, it's all about the parsley. Lemon juice, mint, tomato, bulgar wheat and a little all-spice are present but the parsley takes centre stage. This weekend I got hold of some kohlrabi which I ADORE and couldn't think of a nicer way of serving it than creating a kohlrabi tabbouleh. Kohlrabi has a delecate balance of cabbage notes and sweet, nutty freshness. Texture-wise I wanted the crunch to really stand out so substituted the bulgar wheat for giant cous-cous. Cous-cous is made using semolina which has been sprinkled with water, hand rolled and then passed through a sieve, dusted with more semolina and rolled and passed through again to form the granules that you can buy in the shops. Cous-cous in Israel has a much larger granule and personally I prefer it, the texture is more like the bubbles in a tapioca pudding and it's absolutely delicious, absorbing flavour more intensely than the smaller grains do.

1) Pour the cous-cous into a pan of boiling salted water and stir through for 6-8 minutes before straining in a sieve and setting aside to cool.

2) Peel the kohlrabi with a sharp knife to remove the green skin, then slice the white flesh into chunks.

3) Wherever possible, buy your tomatoes on the day you need them, still attached to the vine and don't keep them in the fridge; it chills away all the sunshine from the flavour. Pick from the vine, rinse in lukewarm water and slice into quarters.

4) Wash the cucumber to remove any wax from the skin and slice into chunks.

5) Squeeze the lime into the cous-cous and stir through, loosening any sticky grains with your hands - add a generous handful of freshly picked chopped parsley and season well with salt and cracked black pepper.

6) Add a tiny sprinkle of ground cumin and paprika, then stir through the kohlrabi, tomatoes and cucumber.

I served this with some iceberg and raddiocho lettuce leaves to scoop up the tabbouleh which is traditionally eaten with the hands.

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