Food Files: Tabbouleh Salad
“The perfect dressing is essential to the perfect salad, and I see no reason whatsoever for using a bottled dressing, which may have been sitting on the grocery shelf for weeks, even months – even years.” Julia Child
Tabbouleh, variously known as Tabbouli, Tabouli, Tabbouleh, and Tabouleh, is a popular Levantine vegetarian dish that so many of us in the West consider a side and/or a Salad. In the Middle East, this delicious tangy dish is offered as a Meze (appetizer) before a full course meal is served. Since I love foods from around the world and salads hold a special place in my heart, especially as the weather warms, and we look for no cook, easy to make dishes, I decided to share this recipe with you. Of note is that I originally wanted to share a crunchy salad with Romaine lettuce and my favorite power greens ( chard, spinach, kale and more) but, the greens price spike: due to the recent shortage in lettuce in the USA made me choose to share this dish which, I’m glad to say, remains one of my favorites.
As with any recipe, you can always substitute another similar ingredient to replace one you don’t like or that is unavailable in your area. Since the Tamari is salty, you can use less of it and the Kosher salt or skip one of them. There is nothing rare/exotic on my list. Cukes is really cucumber so pick your favorite kind in your local food store. Every ingredient listed below can be found in a standard supermarket or farmer’s market. The joy of Tabbouleh is that it is a dish made with fresh, local ingredients and, if you can’t get bulgur, you can use couscous.
¼ cup Cracked bulgur
¼ cup Lemon juice
¼ cup Red wine vinegar
¼ cup Olive oil
½ – 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
½ tsp Lemon zest
¼ tsp Coarsely ground black pepper
¼- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ cup Red onion
½ – 1 stem Scallion onion
½ cup Cukes or gherkins
1-2 bunch Fresh parsley sans stems
1 bunch Fresh mint leaves
2 large/firm Tomatoes
A dash of hot pepper oil
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.” Brian O’Driscoll
Time from start to serve: 1 hour
What I love about salads in general is that they are easy to prepare, don’t require much cooking, and you can toss and combine almost any combination of ingredients to produce a healthy and even colorful dish. While many see a salad as a side dish or a starter dish, it can be made into an important part of a meal. Simply add your favorite protein and voila! fait accompli.
In a large metal bowl, combine the following ingredients: ¼ cup Cracked bulgur, ¼ cup Lemon juice, ¼ cup Red wine vinegar, ¼ cup Olive oil, ½ – 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce, ½ tsp Lemon zest and then set aside for about 1-2 hours. The reason is that instead of cooking the bulger and turning it into a mush, by soaking it, you will end up with a slightly crunchy wheat.
As the bulger softens, finely dice and chop the Red onions, Scallion onion, Cukes or gherkins, Fresh parsley, Fresh mint leaves and Tomatoes. Set aside until your bulger has softened to your taste. Combine all the ingredients, add your kosher salt and pepper to taste. Add a dash of hot pepper oil if you wish. Refrigerate your salad until ready to serve. Serve with warm slices of Rosemary infused Foccacia bread, slices of tomatoes and a protein of your choice. Enjoy! Recipe serves 4
Have a Happy, Healthy 2017!
Positive Motivation Tip: Food brings people together across cultures and beliefs. Reach out and share your food.