Thursday, January 20, 2011

My 3rd Blogiversary & Tabbouli, Mandaloun Style

Today is a very momentous occasion on Veggie by Season, it's my third Blogiversary! Looking back over the past three years, beginning a blog has been absolutely one of the best decisions of my life. I have met so many other bloggers and enjoyed reading theirs through the tight-knit community, I have challenged myself to cook with new ingredients, techniques, and cuisines, and I have really tapped into my creative mind constructing recipes as well as writing about them. 

Looking back over the last year, my proudest blogging accomplishment was the POM Party victory. Being chosen in the top 10 among over 100 talented bloggers was really a special moment for me. Also, the Bakesale for Molly was another great moment during the last year. I was completely floored by the generosity of both the bakers and the bidders, and the way word spread among the blogging community and beyond. (As an aside, we were able to cover all of Molly's medical expenses, and I purchased 6 months of medication for her to take to her foster home, where she continues to reside awaiting adoption.)

Now in the past, I have celebrated my blogiversary in different ways. The first Blogiversary I made meatloaf cupcakes with whipped potato frosting, and last year I recapped my favorite recipes from the year. This year, I'm going in a little different direction. As I've said, blogging has led me to try many new ingredients, and even re-try things I thought I didn't like (cucumbers, turnips, lima beans, pears) and... parsley! I've always been completely opposed to parsley, and would substitute any other herb in it's place. Then, about a year ago, I tried tabbouli and I loved it. How could it be, I hated parsley?! More recently, I went to a Lebanese restaurant and ordered the Vegetarian Mezze platter, which featured tabbouli. Only this tabbouli was different - no blugur! It was completely parsley based, and I absolutely loved it.

I thought about it some more, and realized that when the parsley is minced into a fine piece, its flavors really come out, and it smells like lemon. I made this tabbouli based on my memory of the style of Mandaloun's, and it was very, very similar. Though I think I prefer just a bit of bulgur mixed in, this tabbouli is also something special. 

Thank you so much to everyone for your readership through the years. I never thought a blog would bring me so much joy and connect me with so many wonderful people. 

Tabbouli, Mandaloun Style
(no bulgur, authentic Lebanese)

3 bunches of parsley, stemmed
1 bunch of fresh mint leaves, stemmed
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 English cucumber
3 garlic cloves
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. Red Wine vinegar
1/4 c. EVOO
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Wash parsley and mint in a large colander, shake and dry well.
In batches, place mint and parsley leaves in a food processor, pulse and process until leaves are in small, minced pieces.
Place in a large plastic storage container and repeat until all herbs are minced.
Quarter tomatoes, add to herbs.
Mince cucumber, add to herbs.
Using a microplane, grate garlic into vegetable mixture.
Zest the lemon into vegetable mixture, then slice in half and squeeze juice into mixture.
Add vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper.
Place a sealed lid on and shake the mixture to mix well.
Taste, adjust seasonings.
Refrigerate over night or for several hours, taste again before serving to adjust seasonings.


Amy said...

Happy Blogiversary!! I love your blog, and can't wait to see what this year brings for you!

Crissy said...

Happy 3 years Ash! I hope you are feeling well! Wish we could be running side by side in another half this year... maybe in 2012 if you're hands aren't too full with the new addition :)

WillJogForFood said...

Congrats on your blogiversary!!!

Devon said...

Happy blogiversary! I think you need cupcakes.

Cara said...

Happy Blogiversary to you! Wishing you many more delicious years to come.

Tasha said...

Happy 3 years of blogging, Ash! Your blog was the first one I read that I ever felt a connection to as far as cooking style, and it will always be one of my faves :)

Mint is my aversion to overcome. I learned to like (love, actually) blue cheese and mushrooms, so I figure I can do it at some point, but it hasn't happened yet.

Dawn said...

Happy blogiversary! God I love Mandaloun so I know I would love this!!!!!!!

LauraJayne said...

Congratulations! I love your blog, and I'm glad you started this one three years ago!

Cate said...

Happy Blogiversary! Still loving your blog through the changes. Tabbouli is one of my absolute favorites!

Joanne said...

Happy Blogiversary babe! I've loved following you along this journey and can't wait to see what the next many years have in store!

Parsley is actually something that's grown on me through blogging, as well. (I blame Mr. Symon.) This tabbouli looks delicious!