Monday, September 21, 2009

Humble Tabbouleh or Tabouli

Tabbouleh or Tabouli is a favorite salad dish from Lebanon. Lebanon’s food culture is influenced by many areas of the world. Some say Lebanese food is the most popular of all Middle Eastern cuisines.

Lebanese foods center around herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients, relying less on heavy sauces. Mint, parsley, oregano, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon are the most common seasonings. The Lebanese meal consists more of fruits, vegetables, rice and bread and less of meat.

Here is my version of Tabouli using spinach, flat leaf parsley and cilantro. Mine is oil free and contains fresh, chopped garlic. I invite you to not only, enjoy the explosion of flavors; but also, to savor the wonderful aromas of the cilantro, parsley, mint, the garlic, lemon and cumin. This is one dish I enjoy making.. cuz it smells so darn dee-lish!

Tabouli is best enjoyed when it is cold and has spent a night in the frig, as this allows the bulgur wheat to soften. You can also use Quinoa in place of bulgur. I enjoy the bulgur as it is a unique ingredient. Try this on a cracker, pita bread or rolled up in a lettuce or red cabbage leaf.

As always, I go ORGANIC as much as possible!

You’ll need a food processor.

Oil Free Tabouli

In a bowl:
½ to 1 cup Bulgur Wheat
Soaked in ½ to 1 cup filtered water
Set aside for 45 minutes.

In food processor add:
4 cups spinach
1 cup flat leaf Italian parsley
1 cup cilantro
2 to 3 fresh mint leaves
Chop. Be careful not to over do it. You don’t want a pesto consistency. (See picture)
Spoon into a bowl

In food processor add:
½ large fresh tomato (or you can use no salt added ORGANIC canned tomatoes)
¼ large red onion
3 to 4 pods of fresh garlic
½ cuke
½ yellow or orange bell
Chop. Again, don’t over do it
Spoon into spinach mixture

Squeeze juice of one medium size lemon. If you don’t like a bold lemon taste... use less lemon.
Cumin. I use a LOT of cumin... but taste for your preference. OR
Mrs Dash, salt free Extra Spicy seasoning
Mix all together

When adding the bulgur to this mixture, you do not want any liquid in the bulgur. Let it soak until all liquid is absorbed.

Mix all together. Cover air tight and place in frig over night.

Serve with chips, crackers, pita or lettuce or red cabbage leaves. You can hollow out iceberg lettuce and stuff the lettuce with the Tabouli.

I hope you enjoy how the flavors of the lemon, garlic and mint dance over your taste buds.

Until next time....


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