Well, this has turned into a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern themed week here in Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen. It all started when I had some leftover rice which was used to make a Lebanese lentils and rice dish called mujaddarra. Next, I chopped up some cucumbers, tomatoes and onions to have on hand for a Mediterranean salad. Today, I’m going to show you how to use your prepared Mediterranean salad to make tabbouleh.
Tabbouleh is a salad made of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumber, onions and a variety of herbs. It originated in the Eastern Mediterranean (also called the Levant) and spread via trade and conquest to the Balkans, Southern Europe and Northern Africa. (Wikipedia) Bulgur itself is a form of parboiled wheat that has had the bran partially removed. It can be used many of the same ways as rice can. For tabbouleh the preparation is simple. For each cup of bulgur, use a cup of boiling water and allow to stand for an hour or more. More is better. After all the water is absorbed, add in your vegetables and herbs and a lemon vinaigrette.
A word of warning…it’s easy to make too much. I use 1/2 cup of bulgur to make enough tabbouleh for four generous servings. Tabbouleh is best when it’s had time to set and the ingredients have the opportunity to mix and mingle. Start it several hours or even the day before you plan to serve it. Tabbouleh will last for many days in the fridge and can be eaten chilled or brought up to room temperature. Right before serving, crumble feta cheese over top if you like. (In my opinion, the feta “suffers” from being mixed into the tabbouleh too soon, so I wait to add it).
- 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 1/2 cups prepared Mediterranean salad (diced tomato, cucumber and onion)
- Options: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of diced bell pepper, chick peas, feta cheese
- 1 cup loosely packed chopped parsley, cilantro or mint (or combination) to taste
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Mix the bulgur with the boiling water, stir and set aside until the water is completely absorbed, an hour or so.
- After the water is absorbed, stir in the tomatoes, cucumber, onions, any extras and herbs
- In a small bowl, combine the juice of 1/2 lemon with the olive oil and seasonings. Whisk briskly with a fork to combine and pour over the tabbouleh. Mix to combine evenly.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Give it a good stir before serving.
Double the recipe for an easy, make ahead dish for a pot luck or cook out. If you prefer, try swapping out cooked rice, quinoa or couscous for the bulgur.
Awhile back I wrote about this slim line beverage container (affiliate link) that I am using for iced tea. I’m happy to report that it’s still in use. Every couple of weeks I have to take it apart and clean it by rinsing and soaking the pieces in bleach water. On the few occasions I’ve experienced a leak, it’s been a matter of tightening things up. I reckon I’ve saved close to $100 so far, which means I’m saving money every time I loosen the cap in order to get the tea to flow.
In Gadget Remorse, I wrote about my excitement and subsequent disappointment in an all in one salad spinner, mandolin, grater. I finally decided to give it to one of my young co-workers who was moving out on her own. It’s not missed, but the loss cuts into the profits from the beverage container, hahaha.