Parsley is a multi-purpose herb that no kitchen should be without. As it is so versatile it can be used not only as a garnish but for flavoring food and as a vegetable. There are two main varieties of parsley: curly leaf and flat leaf. Both can be used for the same purposes although flat leaf parsley has a slightly stronger flavour and tends to be favored more in Mediterranean cooking. One of the great easy dishes that uses parsley is Tabbouleh. This makes a great accompaniment to meat or fish dishes or as a stand alone salad.
25g/1oz bulgar wheat or packet of couscous
2 large, ripe vine tomatoes
large bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves only, washed, dried, finely chopped
small bunch fresh mint leaves, washed, dried, finely chopped
1 small red onion, peeled, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes
1.Place the bulgar wheat or couscous into a mixing bowl and either follow the packet instructions or cover with 50ml/2fl oz of boiling water. Stir, then set aside covered in cling film for 20 minutes, or until the bulgar wheat has absorbed all of the water. You can always add a little more water if it is too dry.
2. Skin the tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain, peel and discard the seeds. Cut into quarters and place in a serving bowl.
3. Add the mint, onion and parsley to the tomatoes and mix well until combined.
4..When the bulgar wheat has absorbed all of the water, remove cling film and fluff it up with a fork until the grains are separated. Add the bulgar wheat to the tomato mixture.
5..Drizzle over the lemon juice and olive oil and add the salt flakes to taste. Coat all the ingredients well in the liquid.
This is delicious served with hot crusty bread or flatbread.
What I am doing on my plot:
I have put in my early potatoes. I have put them in deep and covered the bed with a plastic sheet to keep out any hard frost that may yet turn up.
It is my experience that the frost has got to be at least -3 and last at least eight hours to go into the earth, so the potatoes should be quite safe were they are.It will be at least three weeks before they are showing above the ground anyway.
I am tidying up my soft fruit and checking the fruit cage for damage. We had gales a few days ago.
Thoughts while digging:
I am a Black Coffee Drinker. I drink plain old French Coffee, strength 3.
Now all of a sudden most Cafes here in Oxford have “Coffee of The Day”. It seems to me that there are now hundreds of kinds of coffee and I have been trying a few, making up for all the years that I have been sheltered. I do not know why it is that alcohol and tobacco are now bad, but jolts of caffeine are suddenly good.. It is beyond me and makes me feel old.
After all my tastings I am sticking to my French Coffee...black in a cup and Jamaica Blue Mountain at Christmas.