Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tabbouleh and our Mezze Meal

As mentioned the other day, I made pita for our mezze meal. Mezze is like Spanish Tapas except in Mediterranean places like Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East (so the Eastern Med. instead of Western Med like where Spain, France, and Italy are). In addition to pita, we had hummus, caponata (again, I know, Italy--it didn't quite fit either), cherry tomatoes--a handful of which were off of my tomato plants, cucumber slices, and tabbouleh. I knew my kids wouldn't really go for the caponata or tabbouleh and from the above picture, you can see I am right (pictured above is M's plate).

I made tabbouleh, for the first time in many, many years. I kinda overdosed on tabbouleh several years ago. I also used old bulgur the last time I made it and cucumbers (if you remember, I am NOT a cucumber fan). This time I was sure to chuck my two year old bulgur (if it smells a little rancid or old, don't use it!!) and find a new recipe that omits the cucumbers. As a result, I love tabbouleh again. We've had it for a side for a couple meals since my mezze meal and it's been perfect.

This makes 4 c of tabbouleh.

adapted from The Kitchn

1 c bulgur wheat
1 1/2 c boiling water
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 large bunches (Italian, if possible) parsley, finely chopped
1/2 c mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 large tomato, minced fine
about 1/2 c lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put bulgur wheat in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over it, cover, and put in the fridge for an hour to soften.

Add the onion, garlic, parsley, mint, tomato, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to the wheat. Mix well, taste and season accordingly. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors marry. However, if you make this just an hour or less before you want to eat it like I did, it will taste just fine.

Alternate method: use a food processor to finely chop first onion and garlic. Remove onion and garlic and then process parsley and mint. Add to wheat along with other ingredients.

If you like cucumbers more than I do, you can add 1 cucumber that has been peeled, seeded, and minced. I don't know why you would want to do that, but I'm just letting you know that some people may think it's good.

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