I was sitting on my balcony, chilling, looking at my vegetables and thinking what to prepare for lunch. That gorgeous green mint caught my eye and made me think of something… It’s been almost 10 years now, since I visited France for the first time. It must have been then that I’ve fallen in love with it… Anyway, I was staying with a family in Antibes, in the south. Tabbouleh was le plat de resistance. Every day. Every lunch. It was more or less a cous-cous salad with some tomatoes, raisins and mint. To be honest, I was not a big fan. It was something I’ve never had in my life before. But, years pass by and you get wiser… and you travel (now a visit to a local Lebanese is practically a must on all my trips), returning at home, hoping that one day you’ll be able to sit down in an restaurant ordering some hummus, falafels and tabouleh in your home town. And one day when you return, your wish comes true. Mezze.
Tabbouleh comes from Middle Eastern cuisine and is usually served as mezze. It’s fresh, healthy and really easy to make in the summer. The real thing is actually lots of mint and parsley, tomatoes, some onions, sprinkeled with lemon and some bulgur. Yes, sprinkeled with bulgur.
My recipe is a mix of everything. Cranberries and pistachios came across when I was staying in Canada. And bulgur is so much healthier than cous-cous. It’s not that common to use it at our place, but you should definitely be using it more. Bulgur is cracked durum wheat and is considered wholegrain, so rich in fibre and has approx. 10% of protein. It is made by cooking the wheat, drying it, partially removing bran and craking it. This actually means that there is no need to cook it. You can just soak it and drain when soften.
So, serve it with one of these beauties plus some grilled vegetables. And you’ve got yourself a real feast!
- 250 g bulgur
- 350 g cherry tomatoes
- 2 big handfuls cranberries (or raisins)
- 150 g salted pistachios in shell
- 20 g mint leaves or more
- 15 g parsley
- 1 small spring onion
- juice of 1,5 lemon
- 1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar.
- olive oil. lots of it.
- Cook bulgur according to instructions. Do not overcook. Let cool completely.
- Chop mint leaves, parsley and spring onions. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Remove pistachios from the shelves and chop roughly.
- Add lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and lots of olive oil to cooled bulgur. Mix in pistachios, cranberries, chopped herbs and spring onions. Salt according to taste and mix. At the end mix in cherry tomatoes and serve.