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Tabbouleh Salad

Updated on August 8, 2014
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Do you have a favorite recipe? From where did it come? Was it scribbled in the back of a notebook in your grandma's pantry? Perhaps it was given to you by your mom, a best friend, your mother in-law?

When you pull that recipe out of your card file, buy the ingredients, and make that wonderful cake/cookie/salad/meal........I'm guessing that the taste of the food is incidental--what matters most is the memories that come rushing back with the remembrance of when you first tasted that food.

I obtained this recipe about 30 years ago from the wife of Dr. Steve Malone, University of Washington Seismology Dept. She and Steve were group leaders at a Campus Christian Ministry marriage preparation workshop. My (then future) husband and I were participants. It was a phenomenal, inspiring weekend filled with humor, fellowship, encouragement, insight, and wonderful food.

As I have said in the past, my mother was a satisfying cook, but not very daring. No "unusual" vegetables, no fish (other than fish sticks or an occasional piece of halibut), and salads were head lettuce, tomatoes, and radishes. I had never heard of tabbouleh, or even bulgur wheat, until that weekend in the Spring of 1981.

What a revelation! Since that weekend we have tried to incorporate bulgur wheat in our meals at least several times each month. It's a great substitute for rice, orzo, or quinoa.

So what exactly is bulgur wheat? Bulgur is what's left after wheat kernels have been steamed, dried, and crushed. It has been a food staple for years because it offers an inexpensive source of low-fat protein. Bulgur is high in fiber and protein, and low in fat and calories.

Cast your vote for Tabbouleh Salad

Cook Time

Prep time: 2 hours 15 min
Ready in: 2 hours 15 min
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 heaping tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained

Instructions

  1. Combine bulgur wheat and boiling water in large mixing bowl. Let stand for 15-20 minutes, or until all water us absorbed.
  2. Stir in the salt, lemon juice, garlic, scallions, and olive oil. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate 2-3 hours.
  3. Just before serving stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.

And you can add these ingredients

Want to add a bit more crunch, color, flavor, or protein? Here are some suggestions:

  • 1/2 cup olives (black, Kalamata, or mixed)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 pound cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken (the white meat from a rotisserie chicken would be great here)
  • 1 cup diced zucchini (in place of or in addition to the cucumber)
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds would be a good choice)

© 2011 Linda Lum

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