Rachel Herrmann

Academia, food, and history

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The combination of a cold spring (less jogging outside), a research trip to London, and a short fun trip to Rome have necessitated a turn toward healthy lunches. It turns out that I like tabbouleh and fattoush, and because I couldn’t decide which I preferred I decided to mush the two recipes together. This is a very easy recipe, but it’ll take more time than you think it will because of all the chopping.

3 tablespoons bulgur wheat (fine is better but coarse worked okay for me)
5 roma tomatoes, seeded, diced, and drained
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
The largest bunch of flat-leaf parsley you can find, washed, dried, and picked off all stems (this will take forever)
2 cups mint leaves, washed and dried
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (I had no allspice so I combined ¼ tsp cloves with 1/8 tsp coriander and 1/8 tsp ginger)
1 teaspoon sumac (I couldn’t find it at the store and didn’t have the patience to order it online before making the salad. If you can find it, I’d probably decrease the lemon by a teaspoon or two)
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 small pitas

Salt to taste
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
Juice of 1 lemon (I used a lemon and a half)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine the salt and the sliced garlic, and mash until a coarse paste forms. Add the lemon and olive oil and allow to sit while you put the rest of the ingredients together.

2. Heat oven to 400º. Slice pitas into strips, coat lightly with olive oil, and bake in oven for about 10 minutes, until crispy. Allow to cool, then break into small pieces. Set aside. Resist eating all pita chips.

3. Place bulgur in a bowl and pour boiling water over. Set aside until it’s tender but still has a bit of a chewy bite (5-10 minutes), then drain.

4. Chop parsley finely, and cut the mint into thin strips (you can do the parsley early on; the mint will turn black fairly quickly so wait until everything else is assembled).

5. Combine bulgur, tomatoes, scallions, cucumber, and spices. Add in parsley and mint. Pour dressing over. Add pita chips just before serving and toss.

I added goat cheese at the end, because I’m a cheese fiend. Some things can’t be helped.

(Sources: I fiddled with this Tabbouleh recipe on David Lebovitz’s blog, and this recipe for fattoush)


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