In anticipation of the various gatherings that occur around this time of year, we've pulled together five of our favorite cookbooks from recent months. Each day this week, CH will feature a different cookbook and a recipe, the sum of which will make up a complete holiday meal. Today's recipe: a side dish from "The Lebanese Kitchen."
Growing up in the kitchen of her family's farm in Mazarat Tiffah, Lebanon, Salma Hage became indoctrinated into the art of traditional Lebanese cuisine. As her mother's right hand in the kitchen, Hage learned how to make food by taste and repetition rather than strict recipes. In Phaidon's "The Lebanese Kitchen," Hage shares her knowledge and her passion for Lebanon's rich food culture with more than 500 traditional recipes. The newest addition to Phaidon's international home-cooking cookbook series, "The Lebanese Kitchen" offers an unprecedented glimpse into the country's distinct cuisine. Covering everything from light starters to decadent desserts, Hage showcases the wide spectrum and subtleties of Lebanese cooking. With descriptive recipes complimented by gorgeous full page imagery, "The Lebanese Kitchen" is a celebration of the country's unique cuisine and culture.
We found a tempting recipe for Winter Tabbouli, a variation on the traditional bulgur wheat based salad. In making Hage's version, we found the beauty and ease in simplistic Lebanese dishes. Made with a combination of celery root, fennel and pomegranate, the tabbouli offers a distinctive taste of winter without being heavy or creamy. We recommend bringing this crunchy, warm and colorful addition to the Thanksgiving table as a refreshing and seasonal side.
scant 1 1/2 cups coarse bulgur wheat
1 cup hot vegetable stock
1 red onion, finely diced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 celeriac, peeled and sliced into thin strips
1 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
Put the bulgur wheat into a bowl, pour the hot stock over it, cover, and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Drain in a strainer lined with cheesecloth (muslin), squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Put it into a bowl and fluff up the grains with a fork. Add the onion, fennel and celeriac and mix well, then add parsley and mint. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and pomegranate syrup in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and pour the dressing over the tabbouli. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and walnuts.