Tabbouleh is extremely popular in several countries of the Middle East. It is also gaining popularity in the West as it is a healthy, vegetarian food that is low in fat and still offers fiber, minerals and complex carbohydrates.
It is a salad made from a combination of finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, mint, onion, bulgur, often with cucumber added. Typically, olive oil and lemon juice are the seasoning as well as salt and pepper and sometimes garlic. Some recipes substitute couscous for bulgar. This version exchanged bulgar with buckwheat grouts.
Buckwheat, is NOT wheat but seeds of a flowering plant. It is very popular in Japan where it is made into noodles. New Years celebrations there would not be complete without eating buckwheat noodles.
If you have a big patch of parsley and are in need of an idea, I know of nothing else that will quicky and deliciously spread the wealth. There are as many family tabbouleh recipes as there are family versions of shortbread recipes. The amounts given are suggestions. If after cutting you have 1/2 a tomato left over, there is no reason not to add it in. Maybe you like a little more mint, that is okay. Did you learn to make Tabbouleh without cucumber, no problem.
You will need:
3 1/2 cups water
Vegetable stock cubes, crumbled
1 cup buckwheat grout
3 -4 cups parsley, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mint, chopped
1 cup fresh tomato, finely chopped (this can be subbed out at 50/50 with sundried tomatoes)
1/4 – 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
1⁄2 cup lemon juice
1 1⁄2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped, more to taste
salt & pepper to taste
Gather up your equipment and supplies. Thank the plants for their contribution to the dish. Take a deep breath in while bringing your focus into the present moment. Close your eyes to help center yourself. Slowly release anything bothering you as you exhale. Open your heart and begin.
Add the water to a pot and bring to a boil. Check your package for the correct amount of stock flavouring needed for 3 1/2 cups of water. Add crumbled stock cube, or powder, and the buckwheat grout. I went with vegetable but have also used chicken in the past if that is all that is available.
Continue to simmer and check at 15 minutes. Add a few more minutes if need be. It is a little like cooking pasta. “Al dente” is what you are looking for. When tender and to your liking, drain and place the grout in a large bowl.
While the grout has been cooking, finely chop all the other ingredients: parsley, tomatoes, mint and cucumber and add to the bowl. Combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper if using. Pour over the salad and toss to finish.
Serve fresh. This salad will last a day in the fridge but is best served once mixed. It is possible to precook the grout and then add the perishables when required.
Parsley is a rich source of flavonoids, folic acid, vitamins A, C, and K. and this salad is a great way to add essential nutrients and make the most of the health benefits parsley offers.