It all started when our lovely neighbor, Erica (the green thumbed guru in our Urban Gardens series), brought me a big bunch of fresh parsley plucked from her garden. The timing couldn’t have been better. I had already started making this tabbouleh but I was going to make it without parsley because I had just used my last bit in homemade veg stock. Now my recipe just got better!
Traditionally Tabbouleh, a Lebanese dish, is predominately made of up of parsley with the bulgur and other ingredients taking the back seat. The Americanized version has bulgur being the main ingredient and everything else is used to complement that flavor, such as this version. This recipe still has the Middle Eastern flair though, from the addition of cumin and coriander to spice it up. Both of these spices are renowned as having health and nutritional benefits not to mention adding great flavour.
Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice since both its leaves and its seeds are used as a seasoning condiment. When I first moved to the States I had to adjust to coriander being called ‘cilantro’, with coriander referring to the seeds. In Europe coriander refers to the leafy plant as well as the seeds. To clear up any confusion, the leafy cilantro/coriander plant produces seeds which, when dried, are the portions used as the dried spice, and like cumin, coriander seeds are available whole or in ground powder form. That’s a mouthful! Along with containing a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, coriander is known to aid in digestion, is believed to help lower cholesterol and ongoing studies are showing coriander might contain a powerful weapon to naturally fight the Salmonella bacteria. Good to know, especially these days!
2 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
8 oz sugar snap peas
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves – minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp (1/4 cup) fresh mint – chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped
1 lemon – zested
1/2 lemon – juiced
S&P to taste
Begin by putting the bulgur in a large mixing bowl and cover with plenty of cold water, about an inch above the grain. Let soak for 30 minutes. Once soaked, drain and using your muscles, squeeze out the excess liquid. In a small bowl add all remaining ingredients except for peas. Whisk ingredients together and pour over bulgur. Mix well. Taste and season with S&P. Let stand for 30 minutes to absorb flavour.
Meanwhile, in a preheated large saute pan, add sugar snap and garden peas with 1/2 cup water. Loosely lay sheet of foil over and cook peas for 1 minute. Give them a stir after 30 seconds.
Drain and pat dry. Add to bulgur mixture and combine all ingredients together. Taste and season and you’re ready to rock!
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.