Saturday, November 05, 2005

Recipe for Kalyn's Tabbouli with Almonds (The Last Tabbouli of 2005)

Yesterday I promised I'd give you the recipe for my favorite concoction made with curly parsley, this weekend's choice from my garden for Weekend Herb Blogging. Tabbouli is a Middle Eastern salad made from cracked bulgar wheat, parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, spices, and sometimes tomatoes or cucumbers. The version of tabbouli you find in most restaurants in the U.S. doesn't much resemble the real thing. Tabbouli is meant to have lots of parsley and mint and not so much bulgar, which makes it great for lower carb diets if you make it the traditional way. On the South Beach Diet, bulgar wheat is considered a "good" carb and olive oil is considered a "good" fat, which makes this a great South Beach Diet Recipe.

Years ago when I was catering houseboat trips at Lake Powell I hit upon the idea of adding slivered almonds to the tabbouli for a little more crunch. I once had a woman from Lebanon who came to a party at my house. She tasted my version of tabbouli with the almonds, and pronounced it spectacular. Tabbouli is pretty much a summer food to me, since that's the only time you can get enough fresh mint and parsley to make it here in Utah, at least in the Utah teacher's income bracket.

I've never tried making tabbouli completely from scratch, since this version using the mix that you soak with water and olive oil is so delicious. If anyone has tried that, I'd love to know just what spices go into it. The parsley in my garden will probably last a little longer, but the mint is starting to get seriously frostbitten, so this batch is probably the last tabbouli for 2005, and I really enjoyed it.

Kalyn's Tabbouli with Almonds
(4 - 6 servings)

Ingredients:
1 cup dried tabbouli mix (bulk mix from health food store,
or Fantastic Foods brand in a box is good)
7/8 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped parsley (measure after chopping)
1/2 cup finely chopped mint (measure after chopping)
2 cups slivered almonds (or less)
Vege-Sal or salt to taste
Spike Seasoning to taste (highly recommended)

Instructions:
Mix dry tabbouli mix, water, olive oil, and lemon juice in a container with a lid and let sit in refrigerator 3-4 hours or more.

Wash parsley in salad spinner and chop in food processor until very fine. Mix into tabbouli mixture. Wash mint in salad spinner and chop in food processor until very fine. Mix into tabbouli mixture. Stir in almonds, Vege-sal and Spike.

Will keep for 1-2 days in refrigerator, but it's best eaten fresh. (After it's been in the fridge I sometimes add a little more olive oil and Spike to perk it up.)


Here's more about Spike seasoning if you're not familiar with it. Vege-sal is made by the same company and is a blend of ground veggies and salt. Both of these are considered a staple in my extended family.

Tabbouli is a great side dish for grilled meats or fish, and it's great as a stuffing for tomatoes in the summer when fresh, juicy tomatoes are plentiful. Just be sure to brush your teeth after eating it, especially if you're going for a job interview that day!
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8 comments:

  1. Very nice tie-in with the herb blogging. And lovely picture!

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  2. I love tabbouli and this looks and sounds like a great version. Too bad I missed the herb blogging weekend. I can't keep up with all the events.

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  3. Cool! I never thought to add almonds to tabouli, but you're right - I bet the crunch is the perfect addition!

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  4. wow,quite an aromatic ,nutritious and colorful combo!

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  5. I made this tonight for supper using a bulk mix from the grocery store...added cucumber and tomato but not as much mint and parsley (didn't have very much in the garden) Not enought lemon juice so I added some seasoned lite rice vinegar. Everyone liked it!

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  6. So glad you liked it! I think all the ingredients can be varied depending on how much of the fresh herbs you have.

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  7. Hi,
    I never use the mix because I think the spices are funky and dry tasting. If you use bulgar whole, you just boil water and let it sit over the bulgar with a plate over the bowl. When it has all absorbed, you add your olive oil, lemon, fresh garlic, mint, salt and pepper. That's it. I add tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, feta and can even add calamatas. It's so much better than the box mix. Another grain I use is quinoa instead of bulgar and it's really tasty and a huge protein. Laura

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  8. Laura I posted this in 2005. Since then I have made Tabbouli from scratch many times, but I still really do like the packaged mix. And I don't like things like tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, or olives in my Tabbouli, and to me the almonds are the perfect addition.

    People like different things, but I am puzzled as to why you would bother to leave a long comment criticizing my recipe? Why not just move on and make it the way you prefer?

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