Wednesday, June 4, 2014

lock it up.

Ugh.  All hail tahini.  I am such a disciple.  Catch me in the kitchen singing hymns in its name.  If you haven't bought a (big) jar for yourself yet just to see what's up, I honestly can't yell at you loud enough.  Recipes call for only a tablespoon here and there for added creamy nuttiness, but the results are so addictive you'll be making them UH LAWT.  Examples: this dressing has made me crave leftover salad for breakfast on more than one occasion.  And halva spread on apples (Molly says 4:1 tahini to honey, but I go closer to 2:1 because I have a sugar problem) is currently sitting pretty in the top spot of my afternoon snack hierarchy.  Mediterranean dips and spreads are tahini's most common uses, and the following, while not being hummus, is as good a sesame paste gateway drug as any.  Do you wanna be cool or not?!!!?1

(Note: this is totally baba ghanoush, but for some reason the recipe I found and followed did not call it that, so in case I'm missing something **vital** I am going to try to refrain from using its much more fun to say name alternative.

Damn.  Can't find a good Wedding Crashers clip anywhere.  You and I both know what I mean though so let's pretend I linked it.  Cool.)

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Charred Eggplant and Tahini Spread
Makes 2 mains, 4 sides

Assemble spread according to this recipe.  Make sure your oven is generally cleanish first because if there's a weird piece of something in there, at 475 degrees it WILL catch fire and smoke like an SOB and you will have to open all of the windows and gag for a bit.  Moving on. 

for tabbouleh:
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
juice of half lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped (or 1 container cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley 
salt and pepper

Bring quinoa and two cups water to a boil, then reduce heat a little and let simmer until grains are cooked and water is evaporated.  Fluff with a fork.

Stir together lemon juice and olive oil, mashing in the minced garlic.  Pour over quinoa, tossing to coat.  Add veggies and parsley, and mix.  Season with salt and pepper  

Top a little mound of tabbouleh with a scoop of (((baba ghanoush))).   Gobble.  Have crackers or something at the ready on which to slather extra spread because that stuff is so wonderful you will not be able to ignore the leftovers.   All of this would ALSO be delicious and portable if stuffed into a pita.  

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