Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tabbouleh

There are so many recipes for Tabbouleh out there that it's almost impossible to decide which one is good. I have tried various different ones and came up with what I like the best. You can actually change the amounts according to what you like best. For example I'm not crazy about mint, so I usually eliminate it, but the original recipes always have it, so I've kept it in this recipe.

Let me give you an idea of what I'm looking for in a Tabbouleh so you can decide if you would like my recipe. I don't like it to be with a lot of parsley, so I've reduced it compared to how much bulgur I use. If you like a more parsley taste, you need to double the amount in my recipe. You can always add a little, then check to see if you like it. Or decide to add more. So don't add everything all at once which will give you more control over the taste.

I always use cumin in the recipe which perks up the taste considerably. I love the taste of green onions, so I always add that too. I have tried regular onions, it just doesn't come out right.

And from time to time I will add cucumbers, depending on the mood I'm in. I also add feta cheese, or black olives just to create some variations. Then, for me, it becomes a main dish instead of a side dish.

You need to make sure that the bulgur you are using is fine bulgur. I've been able to find it in most supermarkets, but if you can't, you should be able to find it at any Middle Eastern markets.

You can also use couscous instead of bulgur just to have a variation. Couscous is a kind of cracked pasta, and it is prepared just as the bulgur is prepared. Just keep it in hot water, wait for it to swell, then get rid off the excess liquid. It's just as easy as that.


TABBOULEH

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fine bulgur
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup boiling-hot water
2 cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 3 bunches)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint (if you like mint, otherwise skip)
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
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 3 more tablespoons olive oil and lemon, until combined well.

Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings.

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