Monday, March 8, 2010

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh (or tabouli) is a side dish or salad made out of bulgur wheat, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Mint is traditional as well, though I rarely add it.  Vegetables like scallions, tomatoes, and cucumber add to the bounty.  It can be made lots of different ways - sometimes I will add feta cheese to the mix; other times I will brown some ground beef and add the crumbles to the dish.  I may serve it on the side with grilled chicken, or over lettuce leaves as a salad (as I will be this week, according to my menu plan).

Bulgur wheat is crushed wheat that has been parboiled and dried, and some but not all of the bran has been removed.  Therefore, it is considered a whole grain.  It is not the same as cracked wheat, which is not parboiled.  I purchase the Goya brand, coarse granulation.  In my local grocery store, it is located along with other Hispanic baking goods, such as masa harina, in the baking aisle.  It also could appear in the rice/pasta aisle.

There is also a tabbouleh mix made by Near East that is commonly available in the rice/pasta aisle.  This comes with a dried spice packet; you have to add olive oil, lemon juice, and any other vegetables.  This is good in a pinch, but I think that the fresh parsley is so much better.

Tabbouleh

2 cups water
1 cup coarse bulgur wheat
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 Kirby cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 bunch Italian parsley, stems removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon jusice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Boil water in a small saucepan.  Add bulgur wheat, cover saucepan, and turn off heat, leaving saucepan on burner.  Allow bulgur to steam until all the water has been absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice scallions, tomatoes, and cucmbers.  Place parsley and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped.  When bulgur is finished, place in a large mixing bowl and add scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and garlic.  Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice into the bowl and toss thoroughly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Either serve warm or put in refrigerator for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

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6 comments:

Rachel March 8, 2010 at 6:37 PM  

Wow. Great recipe and thanks for breaking it down and explaining it so well! That's wonderful!!

gfe--gluten free easily March 11, 2010 at 7:46 PM  

I love tabouli, but I make mine with quinoa now because I'm gluten free. I like cilantra versus mint. Yours looks great though, and as you said, it's a versatile dish. :-)

Shirley

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