This title is not quite accurate. It is actually the lemon juice in the tabouli that came from our tree but I figured it is close enough.
We bought the two citrus trees in December. The lemon tree has thrived and the lime tree is hanging in there. One person told me if the trees are allowed to grow fruit in their first few years, they wont do well, and another told me that growing fruit in their first year would help. I don’t know the first thing about gardening and decided to grow a couple of lemons when the tree was blossoming. It has been most enjoyable watching the maturing of two large yellow lemons that were harvested last weekend.
I use lemon in my cooking but I am not a huge fan of lemons, especially in dessert. In fact, lemon meringue pie, lemon tart and lemon pudding would rank among the easiest desserts for me to refuse. So it is unfortunate to have our own lemons come at a time when have been given lemon from a few others’ lemon trees. We are slowly making our way through them. I have been adding them to casseroles and to steamed vegetables. But how to feature our first harvest?
E came up with an idea for our lemons last weekend. I had been out and about on Saturday and was driving home along Sydney Road thinking about what to have for dinner when I was struck by a yen for falafel after seeing this post of Lucy’s. She is a woman who appreciates the simplicity of a falafel meal.
Ever since my mum and I did a bakery tour of Sydney Road earlier this year, I have felt I should make the most of some of the excellent food available locally. Yet, my timing is usually off. I either have too much bread in the house, or have plans for dinner or it is too much effort to head out to the treasures of Sydney Road when it is warm and cosy in the house. But driving past these places as I headed home for dinner, I felt I had to seize the opportunity.
The first place I stopped at was a Middle Eastern grocery we had visited on the tour. But as I found a park, the closed sign went up. So I drove on and found the Saray (188 Sydney Road, Coburg) where I have eaten before. I bought falafel, hummus, tabouli and Turkish bread. It made a delicious easy dinner. Made me wonder why we don’t do this more.
We even had leftovers but not quite enough. E, who loves parsley, polished off the lemony tabouli. ‘Why don’t you make some?’ he asked. Now I have posted tabouli (also spelt tabbouleh or tabouleh) recipes before - beetroot and pomegranate and green bean and broccoli – but I have never posted the basic tabouli you could buy anywhere on Sydney Road. So to please E, to feature our homegrown lemons and to make sure we had enough for a second meal, I made some parsley and tomato tabouli.
I found the recipe on Taste.com, an Australian website that gives recipes from many of the local foodie magazines. But even a basic foodie recipe needed some minar adjustments, based on what is in the fridge. I didn’t use mint, not having any on hand, but if you have a backyard full of mint, I would recommend it. This tabouli didn’t have quite as much herbs as the Saray version but I was pleased with the taste. It was lovely with the soft Turkish bread, smooth hummus and substantial falafels.
If you are not lucky enough to have a wealth of Middle Eastern Shops close by you might like to visit recipes I have posted for hummus and falafels. If you would like more ideas for herbs in salads and soups, then I suggest you head over to Holler’s No Crouton’s Required event round-up at Tinned Tomatoes.
(Adapted from Emma Braz’s recipe in Super Food Ideas - November 2006, p 60)
¼ cup burghul (cracked wheat)
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable stock
2 generous handfuls parsley, chopped
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped (optional)
1 tomato, diced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
Place burghul in a small bowl. Pour hot stockover burghul and cover for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
On the stereo:
Rip it up and start again: post punk 1978-1974: compiled by Simon Reynolds