Monday, May 10, 2010

Tabbouleh for the Parsley Hater


If you read my blog often, you'll see just about every vegetable and herb in the world appear from time to time. There are a few you'll rarely, if ever see. Celery and Parsley. Hate them. Ok, hate is a strong word. I hate celery. I just don't like parsley. I don't really understand it. To me, it doesn't have much flavor, so why use something with little flavor when you could use basil.... or cilantro... or mint! And yes, this comes from the girl who could tear up giant iceberg lettuce wedges. But I digress.
So parsley. I've been learning to like it more. I suppose it's like any ingredient, when you use it well, it makes a dish. Tabbouleh is a parsley salad, with the other ingredients simply filling in the holes. So I found that making tabbouleh with bunches and bunches of parsley and a tiny bit of bulgur was too much for me. I can take it to 50/50 parsley to 'other stuff,' but I don't know if I'll make it beyond that. I need the other stuff, which isn't necessarily traditional either.
I will say that if you've got mint growing in your garden like weeds, this is the dish for you. I used 2 bunches of parsley and 1 bunch of mint and it was the perfect balance for me. But as all cooking goes, use your judgement and taste! So here's my bastardization of Traditional, Lebanese Tabbouleh!

Tabbouleh

1 cup bulgur/cracked wheat
1 cup boiling water
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 c., I like it lemony)
1/4 c. EVOO
1 yellow bell pepper, minced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 English cucumber, small dice
4 cups loosely packed parsley (about 2 bunches)
2 cups loosely packed mint
Salt and pepper
Pinch of paprika
*I would also 1/2 c. finely sliced scallions, but my sister couldn't eat raw onion, so I omitted them

Add bulgur and boiling water to a mixing bowl, cover and let bulgur soak for 30 minutes.
Add lemon zest, juice and EVOO, toss to combine.
Place in the refrigerator while preparing other ingredients.
In a food processor, pulse parsley and mint until it is a fine mince (or do this by hand).
Remove the bulgur from refrigerator, add bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, herbs and paprika.
Toss to combine, taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve chilled.

4 comments:

Sophie @ yumventures said...

that tabbouleh looks amazing! I know what you mean about certain foods -- I used to hate cilantro, but I slowly "made myself like it" and now I can't get enough! Except for blueberries (which I will hate for eternity) I think you can do that with any food :)

Gia said...

Where on earth do you find bulgur? I can't find it anywhere and have wanted to make tabbouleh forever!

Joanne said...

There are times when parsley is just necessary in a dish and so even though I don't LOVE it the way I LOVE cilantro...I still use it. The tabbouleh looks lovely - so colorful!

And I hate celery too. That I can't have anywhere near me. Ever.

Dawn said...

Love the variation! Mint makes everything taste so fresh. I'll definitely have to try this.