Whole grains are all the rage now, what with their healthful benefits and high fiber content. And they can be incorporated into both old favorite recipes and new preparations that will add some excitement and goodness to any meal.
How many people have not eaten tabbouleh salad? This easy-to-make salad is a staple at most deli departments for just this reason: all you have to do is cover bulgur with boiling water, let it sit, and then stir in some lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes and parsley … and you have a great salad.
When I asked my co-worker Trixie Rombouts when she first had it, she exclaimed, “In the ’60s!” Wow, now that was a bit ahead of the times. Both of Trixie’s parents were European, so she was sent off to school with lunch in a “recycled” sack (not the Barbie lunch box she coveted) fitted out with a recycled yogurt cup filled with freshly made tabbouleh salad adorned with fresh mint from their yard, and a hunk of kasseri cheese. Nowadays, that would be the ultimate sustainable, organic lunch, but those days there weren’t many takers at lunchtime trading—no Twinkies for tabbouleh then! When we tested my recipe for Turkish Tabbouleh Salad with Dried Apricots and Pistachios, of course I had to have Trixie be my taster. It passed with an exclamation of, “Wow, this is fantastic!”
Turkish Tabbouleh Salad with Dried Apricots & Pistachios
Makes 8 cups
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided)
1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 roma tomatoes, diced 1/2 inch
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup tiny-diced sweet white onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil, then immediately stir in the bulgur wheat and remove from the heat. Cover and let sit for 1 hour or until all the water has been soaked up. Uncover and let cool.In a large bowl, mix together remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil. Then add remaining ingredients and cooled bulgur. Mix together well, until all ingredients are coated with dressing.
Recipe ©2007 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®