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Culinary Content: Hummus, Tabbouleh, and Roasted Red Peppers Revisited

Updated on July 31, 2007

In this edition of Culinary Content, we've featured articles about the true nature of traditionally made hummus and tabbouleh and recipes for how to make them, along with recipes for Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Sauce and Brussel Sprout and Camembert Gratin in Butternut Squash. Enjoy!

Articles (with Recipes):

I came across two entries in the blog Desert Candy that really caught my eye:

Hummus Dilettante is a plea for understanding of what traditional hummus is and is not. Mercedes describes the way it is served and the consistency it should have, she defines the main ingredients, and most importantly, she reveals that many dishes in the world that are passed off as hummus truly are not. "The word hummus means 'chickpea.' You are free to mix many things into your hummus, but the base ingredient should remain chickpeas," she says.

I was surprised by this. I have been a vegetarian for nearly a decade, so I have eaten a lot of hummus, but I did not know until this article that many of those dishes were actually impostors. Granted, I am not about to give up a delicious dish like "black bean hummus" just because it is wrongly named, but I will try to find a more appropriate name for it, now that I know! At the end she gives a delicious looking recipe for traditional hummus, so check it out.

In Making Tabbouleh, Mercedes again defends the traditional nature of an old Middle Eastern dish. This time, it is tabbouleh, which I must sheepishly admit that I have never tasted the way that she describes it. The 'tabbouleh' I have always had was mostly grains, yet it turns out traditional tabbouleh is primarily parsley. "All over Syria and Lebanon, women are chopping parsley. The quiet rhythm of their knives, swish, swish against the cutting board, slicing bunches of verdant green leaves, part of the rhythm of the region," Mercedes writes. It turns out I have never had anything even vaguely like traditional tabbouleh. We have a giant bush of flat-leafed parsley in our garden this year. I can't wait to use it to try out the recipe she gives at the end.

Recipes:

I have given a recipe already for how to make roasted red peppers, but take a look at this delicious looking recipe to use them in: Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Sauce from the blog FamilyStyle Food.

Do you love butternut squash? I do. How about Brussels sprouts? I do. This recipe for Brussel Sprout and Camembert Gratin in Butternut Squash in 80 Breakfasts left me wishing that autumn were already here.

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