Inspired by friends who adore Mexican flavors, Christine Datian decided to reinvent traditional Middle Eastern tabbouleh with Southwestern spices. After substituting cilantro for parsley and adding peppers, cumin, and chili powder, she knew she had a unique dish that was quick and easy to throw together. "If you're working, you can do a lot of prep before, when you do have time," she says. Datian recommends buying prechopped vegetables from the grocery store for a fast weeknight meal. If necessary, you can even soak the bulgur overnight.
3/4 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
3/4 cup diced seeded tomato
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped peeled avocado
1/4 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons diced seeded jalapeño pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 garlic clove, minced
Dash of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
How to Make It
Combine bulgur, 1 1/4 cups boiling water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain bulgur through a fine sieve; place bulgur in a medium bowl. Add cilantro and remaining ingredients; toss well.
I never include cilantro in dishes, but aside from that we made this to recipe. What a wonderful light supper we had with some pita chips and guacamole made from the rest of the avocado!We'll definitely make this again!
So my entire family felt it was way too much cilantro and we weren't too big on the bulgur - I have better luck with couscous in my tabbouleh. Spices were good. But I will stick with our other versions.
This is a wonderful take on tabbouleh! I was worried that the many ingredients may have created an odd tasting dish but quite the contrary! So delicious!!
My changes included swapping feta and using Vidalia onion.
Regarding the reviewer who called this recipe a dud due to the red onion: in my experience red onion varies wildly in heat and pungency. I personally don't care for strong onions and find Vidalia (or other sweet) onions are what work for me when raw onions are called for.
This probably works well as a side dish with barbecued spare ribs or grilled chicken, but I followed the recipe exactly, then attempted to serve it as an entree to vegetarians. That full cup of red onions overwhelms everything! After a few forkfuls, that's all we could taste: our palates were numb from raw onions. So as published, this recipe was a dud. I might try it again without the red onions at all. (And to those of you who substituted Feta, please know that it bears no resemblance to Queso Fresco, probably my favorite ingredient in this recipe.) It's a lot easier to stick to the Old School version of Tabbouleh from the Middle East.
I was in a pinch for a side to go with grilled chicken last night and I found this recipe. I didn't have all of the ingredients, so I made a few substitutions and it still turned out fantastic. I didn't have queso fresco, so I used feta. I also didn't have jalapeño or avocado, so I just left them out. I agree that the olive oil is way too much. I used about a teaspoon with the bulgar, then about 1 T with the salad. This is a great baseline recipe that I can see a lot of fun possibilities...
This recipe was fabulous! I loved the southwest take on tabbouleh and the flavors melded beautifully. I was concerned about the different spices in the dressing, but it all mixed together well. Will definitely make this often.
Having never made this recipe before I took a big chance, tripled the recipe (stuck to the original) to serve 15 with grilled skirt steak on a camping trip and came out a winner. It was fabulous! A great make-ahead dish and now friends are asking for the recipe.
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