Thursday, July 13, 2017

Rosie Makes Tabbouleh.

Today, I'm making tabbouleh.
But first, enjoy my little hummingbird having a mid-morning snack!

I love grains.
I love salads.
And tabbouleh is the perfect marriage.
Grain is brought to you in the form of the nutty goodness of bulgur wheat.
Salad is brought to you in the form of fresh summer goodness from my garden.

In case you don't know, bulgur wheat is a whole wheat grain that has been cracked and partially cooked.  It's been a staple in Middle Eastern cuisines for centuries and is most well-known as the main ingredient in tabbouleh.

What is tabbouleh, you ask?  Tabbouleh is a traditional Lebanese salad - a staple - originating in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria.  Basically, tabbouleh is a combination of bulgur wheat, tomato, onion, cucumber, parsley, and mint, with an olive oil and lemon dressing.  The amounts of individual ingredients are not etched in stone, so you can tailor this salad to your own tastes.  Depending on who's making the dish, tabbouleh has many variations.  It can be wheatier or mintier and you can add all sorts of "non-traditional" additions.  It's definitely tinkerable, depending on what you have and what your tastes are.  Think:  pomegranates, nuts(walnuts, pecans), fruits (apples), beans (garbanzos), alternative greens (kale), citrus (lime), olive oil (citrus-infused).  So many possibilities!

 Besides being just ultimately delicious, tabbouleh is also healthy.  Just don't let that "healthiness" deter you from trying this dish.

The first thing you do is prepare the bulgur wheat.
Pour a cup of the grain in a heat-proof bowl and pour in boiling water to cover the bulgur.  Cover the bowl and let sit for an hour or two so that the wheat absorbs the water.  Drain off any excess water.  The prepared bulgur wheat is now ready for its accoutrements.

Rosie Note:   I started with a cup of bulgur wheat.  After the grain absorbed the water and expanded and after I added the vegetables and herbs and dressing, I ended up with 6 cups of tabbouleh.

 Rosie's Version Of Tabbouleh
prepared bulgur wheat
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 cup mint, finely chopped
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients.

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Slowly pour the oil into the lemon juice, whisking constantly, until you have a nice emulsion.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pour dressing over above bulgur mixture, tossing to coat.

Adjust seasonings if you wish.

Rosie Note:  As for the olive oil,  I used Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil, mainly because I didn't want the oil to detract or distract from the other flavors in the tabbouleh.  I wanted a neutral oil.
I would suggest using a milder oil in your tabbouleh before experimenting with more highly flavored oils or citrus-infused olive oils.  I simply am recommending finding a comfortable base point, then branching out.

Combine vegetables and herbs with bulgur wheat, then pour in dressing.

Mix well.  Adjust seasonings if you like.

As for serving tabbouleh, you can always wrap it in a lettuce leaf,
preferably one grown in your own garden.

Or you can just scoop it up with a Tostito.


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