Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rainbow Tabbouleh (Vegetable Salad With Cracked Wheat, Parsely, Mint And Fresh Lemon)

Tabbouleh (pronounced 'ta-boo-li') is a refreshing salad especially suited for the halcyon days of summer. This healthy salad is eaten all over the Mediterranean region. I love to make it with my favorite vegetables according to seasonal availability. A food processor makes short work of chopping and shredding all the veggies.

For young children, I use more carrots and go easy on the radishes even though the lemon and salt mellow them quite a bit. Also, I like using mild leeks in lieu of scallions (spring or green onions) which are more strongly flavored. The taste can be varied by using other herbs such as fresh basil, cilantro, tarragon, or savory instead of the mint. The vegetables in the recipe given below are just a suggestion; use all, some, or others as you prefer.

Lapsi, a cracked wheat product just like Bulgar, is readily available in Indian markets. Lapsi, regular or whole wheat couscous, and quinoa can be substituted for the bulgar if preferred. Follow manufacturer's instructions if using couscous. Bulgar is available in Middle Eastern markets; couscous is available at most grocery stores.


1/2 cup Bulgar/Lapsi
1 cup Boiling water

2 Carrots
1/2 cup Leek or Scallions
1/2 cup Red Radishes
1/4 cup Each Yellow and Red Bell Pepper
1/2 small bulb Fennel
1/2 cup Jicama
1 small Persian (or hothouse type) Cucumber
1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 bunch Italian Parsley
1 small bunch fresh Mint (Optional)
1/2 cup Sprouted beans/peas
1 clove fresh Garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp coarse Sea Salt or to taste
1 small Lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 or 2 Romaine lettuce hearts to serve


Place the Bulgar/Lapsi in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let soak while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Wash all the veggies and drain well.

Coarsely grate the carrots.

Trim the root end and use the white and pale green parts of the leek; the whole scallion can be used. Thinly slice the leek/scallion.

Thinly slice fennel, radishes, cucumber, bell peppers, tomato, and peeled jicama into small bite size cubes/pieces.

Finely chop the parsley and mint leaves.

Combine the salt with the garlic in a large bowl and mash with the back of a spoon to mix well. Add the olive oil and the lemon juice and mix well.

Add all the veggies and herbs to the bowl.

Squeeze dry and drain all excess water from the Bulgar/lapsi and add it to the bowl.

Mix well and let marinate for about 15 minutes.

Serve with Romaine lettuce hearts to scoop up the tabbouleh. Enjoy!!

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