Say it with mezze. (TABBOULEH)

May 1, 2009


Mezze is a food experience that, like tapas, consists of many small plates of different items like salads, veggies, meats, cheeses, olives and spreads. Bread and booze mandatory.

I must confess. It has been 72 days since my last blog entry. This is the sad truth unless you count grillachef.com, which is a wonderful resource, but I didn’t intend that it take over for cute little upchefcreek. So I come back after this one month and a half with a recipe for a snacky side salad that just keeps on getting better and better as it sits in the fridge.

Tabouli or tabouleh is a salad made of bulgur wheat that is soaked like cous-cous and then marinated in a mix of herbs, lemon juice and oil. Whatever else you add to make it happen is up to you. In this recipe I chopped up a yellow bell pepper and some radicchio for bright color and sweet/bitter crunch. Traditionally there are tomatoes and cucumbers involved but you can add just about whatever veggies are laying around and/or top it with lots of stuff like yogurt, feta, grilled chicken, shrimp… sausage, etc. It is really nice when it is served chilled or room temp with something hot on top. Drizzle the whole fiesta with some more extra virgin olive oil and see your own smiling reflection.

1 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint or cilantro leaves, chopped
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + finishing
1 teaspoon salt
1 bell pepper. cubed
1/2 head of radicchio, chopped
salt and pepper

  • Put the bulgur in a large bowl and pour the boiling water on top. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel and let stand for 20 minutes or until grains are softened. Thoroughly drain any excess water by pressing on the bulgur in the sieve.
  • Toss bulgur and herbs together then dress with lemon, oil and salt. Taste for seasoning.
  • Stir in additional vegetables.
  • After a day or two feel free to add more oil, lemon or salt if needed, since it will continue to be absorbed by the bulgur.

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