TABBOULEH

Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة‎ tabūlah; also tabouleh or tab(b)ouli) is a Levantine Arab salad traditionally made of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion, and garlic and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, although there are various other variations such as using Couscous or Quinoa instead of Bulgur.

Tabbouleh with Bulgar                          Tabbouleh with quinoa
Tabbouleh with Bulgar (trigo Bulgur)            Tabbouleh with Quinoa (Quinua)

Traditionally served as part of a mezze in the Arab world, tabbouleh was adopted by Cypriots, variations of it are made by Turks and Armenians, and it has become a popular ethnic food in Western cultures.

Tabbouleh (de couscous)Tabbouleh (de couscous)
My Tabbouleh with Couscous

Ingredients:
250-500g Couscous (depending on how many servings you want)
250-500ml water (equal amount water to couscous)
4 ripe tomatoes, scalded, skinned and chopped (tomates maduros peladas con ayuda de agua hirviendo y picados)
1 salad onion, chopped (cebolleta picada)
A few chives, finely chopped (cebollina picada)
1 italian green pepper, de-seeded and chopped (pimiento verde, picado)
1/2 large red pepper, de-seeded and chopped (pimiento rojo, picado)
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped (pepino, pelado y picado)
1 glass full of equal amounts of fresh parsley, mint and coriander (un vaso lleno de partes iguales de perejil, hierbabuena y cilantro, todos frescos)
Olive oil, lemon juice and salt (aceite de oliva, zumo de limón y sal)

Method:
Simply bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and place the couscous in the water.  Stir once, cover and leave until all the water has been absorbed.  Fluff it up with a fork and pour over a vinaigrette made with the olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  Add the remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly and chill for a few hours before serving.

If you choose to use Quinoa, use 2 cups water to 1 cup Quinoa.  In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.  Leave to cool.

If you prefer to use Bulgur wheat, use 2 cups vegetable stock (for vegetarian option), chicken stock or water, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cups bulgur wheat.  Place the bulgur in a medium sized bowl. Bring the stock or water and the teaspoon of salt to a boil, pour it over the bulgur. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

Another invention of mine, combining anything and everything I could find in the fridge and cupboards!!

Quinoa and chickpea saladQuinoa and chickpea salad2Quinoa and chickpea salad3Quinoa and chickpea salad4Quinoa and chickpea salad5

I simmered a cuarter of a packet of quinoa (previously rinsed and drained) in three times the quantity of boiling wáter with a cube of garlic and parsley stock (caldo de ajo y perejil) and a good pinch of salt.  Then I soaked what was left in the bottom of a packet of couscous, in double the amount of boiling wáter (off the heat).  Now mix all this in a large bowl with a jar of ready cooked, rinsed and drained chickpeas (garbanzos).  Then just add in amounts according to your preference over the dominating flavour finely chopped green and red peppers (pimientos verdes y rojos), salad onions (cebolletas), tomatoes (tomates), cucumber (pepino), young garlic sprouts (ajetes) and some chopped, blanched courgette.  I then added a couple of tablespoons of sunflower sedes (pipas mondadas) and some finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (tomates secados al sol).

Now add a mixture of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro), parsley (perejil) and mint (hierbabuena), salt and pepper to taste.  I could probably have left it like this but, in the absence of freshly chopped spinach (espinacas), I added a couple of handfuls of mixed salad leaves (hojas variadas), although I’m sure it would have been better with spinach.  Then just add sufficient oil and a touch of vinegar to taste and chill well before serving.  My children thought there was too much variety of ingredients, but I really enjoyed it myself!

Quinoa and chickpea salad6Quinoa and chickpea salad7Quinoa and chickpea salad8Quinoa and chickpea salad9Quinoa and chickpea salad10Quinoa and chickpea salad11Quinoa and chickpea salad12

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