In an effort to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle (annual flight to Europe notwithstanding), I’ve been trying to center plant-based foods in my diet again. I don’t eat animal products out of any particular craving, most days, but rather out of convenience, and when I have a bit more time to plan out my meals, it’s really not hard to come up with vegan options. The irony to this is that I end up making vegan dishes for more special occasions (because I have more lead time), and “richer” foods are relegated to the mundane.
I had a couple of friends over last night for dinner and catching up, and one of my favourite parts about cooking for other people is it gives me a chance to try out things I wouldn’t make for myself necessarily, and people tend to appreciate whatever you’ve made. And I had this craving for tabbouli salad, but didn’t want to spend 20 minutes chopping parsley for a side salad and was thinking it would be nice to make something more filling, so that any leftovers could be reincarnated as lunches this week.
I also had a craving for fresh mint after one of my roommates used some the other day, and its sublime scent drifted up the stairs and into my room. I find mint really interesting: it has kind of a strong and distinct flavour, but it’s impossible to use too much; its scent is ethereal, but its leaves have impressive structural integrity (unlike basil which wilts if I look at it the wrong way), and it pairs with both savoury and sweet dishes. It’s an underused culinary gem IMO. So, without further ado:
Modified tabbouli recipe:
– 1.5 cups tomatoes, chopped
– 1 long English cucumber, chopped
– 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
– 2 cans chickpeas, washed and drained
– 1 bunch mint, chopped
– 1 tsp sumac
– 2 lemons, juiced
– 4 tbsp olive oil
– Salt: to taste
Combine all ingredients, shake well, and chill for a few hours before serving. The flavour only gets better with time.
Musical accompaniment: Mint by Kathleen Edwards