Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Lately I am finding myself drawn to Middle Eastern food. It had started with the Naschmarkt in Vienna where I had some delicious turkish sweets, and later at a Lebanese restaurant I happened to visit a couple of weeks ago. Anyways, this is the first recipe that I have for you. Well for a lazy bum like me, I need to make a dish that's just a matter of moments, is not high in fat at all, high in nutrition, and of course tasty.
So I found myself making tabouleh aka tabouli or tabbouleh. Anyone who is not middle eastern will tell you that you need 'cracked wheat' for this recipe. Not the clever geniuses like me ;)
What you need is 'bulghur'. Bulghur is wheat that has been parboiled, dried, and then cracked. So its partially cooked already which makes it very easy to work with. If you are like me(read lazy) you want the finest one - as in coarse/medium/fine finest. The medium or coarse variety is preferred if you are actually cooking it - here we'll just soak the fine bulghur. Cracked wheat is just that - cracked wheat - it isn't pre-cooked like bulghur, hence calls for a longer cooking time or soaking time.
Ok, so that's what you need. If you cant find bulghur, you can use cracked wheat too, but then you need to soak it for at least 30 minutes.
So you need 1/2 cup bulghur, Soak it in about double the quantity of warm water. Set aside for 15 minutes. In the mean time get chopping..and you need to do a lot of chopping. Here's the list ..just chop on like theres no tomorrow..and chop finely..
2 bunches of fresh parsley
1/2 bunch fresh mint (love this! Try not to skip it)
1 onion - I like to use green onions as they are not sharp at all
Juice of 2 lemons
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil. You can be generous with the oil if you like..but thats how I would prefer.
Sometimes I add some lightly toasted chopped walnuts just for a bit of crunch. Also 1/4 of a cucumber is good.
By now it should be 15 minutes. Check your bulghur. Drain any excess water, and loosen up the wheat so it fluffs up a bit. Combine it all, and dig in. You can have it with pita bread or Lettuce leaves or just as is. Takes all of 15 minutes and is refreshingly delish.
Give it a go..you'll love it Share