Friday, June 10, 2011
Cool Summertime Meals: Tabbouleh
It's hot! The thermometer has been reaching close to 100 degrees here in Baltimore. There was a fabulous rainstorm last night and some light rain today, but cooking in the kitchen is still way low on my list of things to do.
All I wanted was a nice cool salad that was hearty enough to work as a meal.
First I searched the awesome recipe website Food52, which has some great recipes for desserts like Feta Frozen Yogurt with Blood Orange Granita (whaaaaat!) and a few light bites like Pan Bagnat with French Tuna Salad.
Those recipes looked great, but I wanted something that was more of a one-pot meal.
I started thinking of what was growing in my garden and what hearty grains I could add, then about the lemon juice in my fridge... and suddenly thought: Tabbouleh!
According to Wikipedia: Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة; also tabouleh or tab(b)ouli) is a Levantine salad traditionally made of bulgur, finely chopped parsley and mint, tomato and spring onion, seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil.
Not only is tabbouleh cool and refreshing while also being very satisfying, it requires very little stove-top heat.
One recipe at Epicurious posts these directions for making the bulgur:
Stir together bulgur and 1 tablespoon oil in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve, pressing on bulgur to remove any excess liquid.
Transfer bulgur to a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients, including 2 tablespoons oil, until combined well.
Just a little boiling of water and light chopping sounded great to me!
And don't be afraid to modify the recipe according to what you have on hand.
I didn't have any fresh parsley on hand and was too hot and exhausted from gardening to go to the store, so I just walked over to the Remington garden and picked myself some kale.
Fresh kale is so tender, and has a light spiciness to it that worked really well as replacement for the parsley.
Chicken-Man and I do have a bunch of mint growing on the back porch which I could have added. But since this was his first try at tabbouleh, I thought I'd ease him into the flavor and texture of it all. A cool salad of whole grains is somewhat unusual to a lot of people, and a bunch of mint in a salad isn't for everyone. Perhaps I'll try the mint next time and see which I prefer.
So glad to have cans of chopped tomatoes and lemon juice in the pantry! Must remember to keep them there at all times.
Sadly, no, these weren't my home-canned tomatoes, as those got eaten up a long time ago. Perhaps this year I will make more, but canning enough tomatoes to last me six months would be a full time job!
Easy Baltimore Summer Tabbouleh
Cook bulghur according to directions on package. (Or pour 1 cup boiling water over 1/2 cup bulgur, cover the bowl, and let steam for 15 minutes.)
Add the following ingredients to taste:
cracked black pepper
Make a large batch to store in the fridge!
Two cups of bulgur, a 16 ounce can of chopped tomatoes, and about four cups worth of chopped kale made at least six meal-sized servings of this salad.
Lovely for a summertime potluck, barbeque, or front-porch hangout!
(p.s. I will take advice about food photography! I have no idea what I'm doing other than setting the mode to "close-up.")
Posted by AlizaEss