Early today I returned home from 10 glorious days of vacation to find our garden in full production mode. All the tomato plants have green tomatoes, teasing, making me wait until they ripen. I could pick some of the green peppers to encourage more flowering, and I probably will as I find it difficult to wait for peppers to fully ripen to a beautiful red, yellow, or orange.
The parsley is very bushy, even though I trimmed it back before we left and made fresh tabouleh with the leaves and stems. Tabouleh is one of the healthiest salads you can make; the parsley alone is bursting with 13 vitamins and minerals and even supplies protein; the bulgur provides fiber, protein, and potassium; the tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and lycopene; and the scallions are a significant source of vitamin K, about 250% of the daily requirement. Somehow knowing that the salad is so healthy makes it taste even more delicious.
My first taste of tabouleh came while living in Saudi Arabia about 15 years ago, and I still crave Middle Eastern food to this day. Serve this as a side dish with kabobs and fresh pita.
This is my contribution to the blogging event Grow Your Own. Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi are hosting this round, so be sure you visit their blog for more information on how to participate. The deadline for posts is July 30.
For a gluten-free version, I substitute cooked chilled quinoa for the bulgur wheat.
[Updated July 2013.]
Tabouleh (aka Tabbouleh, Tabouli)
- medium bowl
- fine sieve
- 2 tea towels
- large bowl
- cruet or small jar with lid
- ¾ cup bulgur (aka burghul) ((or 2 cups cooked, chilled quinoa))
- 16 ounces cold water
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 3 green onions (finely chopped)
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tomatoes (ripe and firm, seeded and diced)
- crisp lettuce leaves (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pour the bulgur wheat into the medium bowl and cover with the cold water. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- While the bulgur soaks, wash the parsley and trim away any large, tough stalks. Lay the damp parsley in a tea towel and wrap lightly. Place in the refrigerator until it’s crispy and mostly dry.
- Strain the wet bulgur through the sieve, then pour onto a tea towel and allow to dry a little. Pour the bulgur into the large bowl and add the chopped green onions. Toss and squeeze with your hands so the bulgur absorbs the onion flavor.
- Add the chopped parsley and the mint, and toss.
- Pour the lemon juice into the cruet or jar, and add the salt and pepper. Shake for about 30 seconds, then add the olive oil and shake until the mixture is fairly homogeneous. Pour over the salad and stir.
- Add the seeded, diced tomatoes and stir. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Serve in small bowls with the lettuce leaves. Whisk together the lemon juice and salt and sprinkle on top of each serving.
Make It Gluten-Free with Quinoa
- Substitute the bulgur with 2 cups cooked and chilled quinoa.