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Tabbouleh

I love falafels. Wrapped in a pita with fresh veggies and lots of garlic sauce. They are not incredibly hard to make, but I was kind of pumped when I discovered that President’s Choice started carrying frozen falafels. I’m not a huge fan of prepared food (I enjoy the process of cooking, and I also like to know what’s in my food) but, while they are a bit dry, I actually like these falafels. They’re great to have in the freezer for busy weeknights when there is little time for cooking. The frozen chickpea nuggets are also great for a 2-person household … heating up a pot of oil just to fry up 8 falafels barely seems worth it, especially when I consider the lingering odor left behind from deep fat frying. However, I still prefer to have something fresh made by me to serve with dinner.

Tabbouleh is a Middle-Eastern salad made with bulgur wheat, fresh veggies, and tons of parsley. I absolutely adore it, and find it really easy to make. In the 20-30 minutes it takes for the bulgur to soak up the water and become soft and nutty, I can have the vegetables & parsley chopped, and the falafels heated up. Then it’s just a matter of draining the bulgur and combining everything together. This salad tastes best at room temperature, but if you prefer it colder, just remember to prepare your bulgur as soon as you get home from a busy day.

I don’t really follow a recipe for this salad, it has sort of just evolved into this as I’ve looked at various sources for how to make Tabbouleh. So this is my interpretation. I like lots of parsley, but you can tone it down if you prefer. Just remember that you absolutely have to use fresh, flat leaf parsley to achieve the same flavour. I’ve seen recipes where you skin the tomatoes and seed the cucumbers – I’m sure this improves the dish, however I’m making this for a quick weeknight meal, so I leave out these fickle steps. If you know of some good recipes for Tabbouleh or have a different way of making it send me the recipes!

Tabbouleh Salad

1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup boiling water
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 – 1 cup cucumbers, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Juice of 1 lemon – about 2 Tbsp
1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Put the bulgur in a heat-proof bowl and pour over the boiling water. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and let stand for 20-30 minutes. Drain with a fine sieve –> I learned somewhere that if you push the bulgur with the back of wooden spoon you’ll get more water out. Pour bulgur back into the bowl.

Add the fresh veggies, the cumin, salt & pepper and give everything a quick stir. Then stir in the lemon juice and olive oil. Give your salad a taste to see if you need to add anymore S&P, lemon juice or olive oil.

Let everything merry in the bowl until you’re ready to serve. At the last minute add your parsley – this will ensure you have the freshest parsley taste when eating this.

Serves 4 with dinner.

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