Spelt Tabbouleh

spelt tabbouleh

Grainy, herby, tomatoey, lemony tabbouleh is a first-class side dish for warm weather meals. It comes from the mountains of Syria and Lebanon originally, and has become a popular mezze all over the Arab world. We love it too, and one of the first things we did when we made our homemade spelt bulgur was treat ourselves to a big bowl of spelt tabbouleh.

With no meat in the recipe, spelt tabbouleh is definitely vegetarian friendly. The story goes that when tabbouleh and other vegetable-based mezze were introduced to cooks in Baghdad, they made fun of the Syrian and Lebanese cooks for being too cheap to buy meat!

Spelt tabbouleh is great served with a basket of nice, fresh warm spelt pita breads.

Spelt Tabbouleh Recipe

spelt tabbouleh Prep Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup fine spelt bulgur
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • Juice of 2 large lemons, to taste
  • 3 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 3 large bunches)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ½ pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart, leaves separated, washed and dried

Instructions:

  1. Place the spelt bulgur in a bowl, and cover with water by 1/2 inch. Soak for 20 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, and press the spelt bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the garlic, lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions and salt.
  3. Leave at room temperature or in the refrigerator for two to three hours, so that the spelt bulgur can continue to absorb liquid and swell.
  4. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with lettuce leaves.

Adapted from The New York Times

Author: Daniel Lieberman

Daniel Lieberman is a cook and writer living in the hills of Western Massachusetts. When he's not cooking he listens to opera and reads a lot.

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