3 August 2007

Tabbouleh...The Ultimate Picnic Food

I am still continuing to be a "tourist in my own town." My holidays are coming to an end but we still have the long weekend and more perfect weather to enjoy for a little while longer. These past few weeks have been remarkable for long, languishing days at the beach, hiking, boating, etc. No wonder tourists flock here in droves all year round!!! Perfect also for a wonderful picnic. Friends and I are headed to Summerland tomorrow. There really is a place called Summerland!! We will probably hike to the top of Giant's Head, perhaps go for a swim and then for dessert and a glass of wine at Hainle Winery in Peachland....yes there is a place called Peachland too....I couldn't possibly come up with these names on my own!!! What are some strange name places in your area??
Tabbouleh to me is the perfect picnic fare. It can sit in your picnic basket or be taken on a long hike and still be delicious! It is so refreshing and uses up all the lovely ingredients from your garden like cucumber, tomato, mint, spring onions....

It is a Middle Eastern finely chopped salad made of bulgur wheat. Some recipes call for you to cook the bulgur, but I prefer to marinate it in lemon juice and oil. After a night in the refrigerator the lemon juice will have "cooked" the bulgur, and the tomato and other juices will have married through all the layers on top into the bulgur to make a very light and refreshing salad. Just a light toss and that's it!! So simple!!! For a light lunch I stuffed it into a tomatoe. Delish!!!

Lemon juice, salt and black pepper are the traditional seasonings but some well seasoned cooks add cinnamon, allspice or other spices. I like to add grated feta cheese although this is not traditional....that I know of anyway. The sky is the limit!!!

  • 1 cup cracked wheat (bulgur)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 bunches scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons (6 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint or 1 tablespoon dried (I prefer to use the dried)
  • 6 leaves romaine lettuce or 4 tomatoes to stuff salad into
1. Place cracked wheat in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Squeeze with your hands to remove excess water and drain for 1 hour.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cracked wheat with a mixture of oil and lemon juice and toss.

3. Layer onions, parsley, mint, tomato and cucumber in a bowl over bulgur. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
4. Cover and refrigerate.

5. Toss just before serving. Serve on lettuce leaves or stuffed into tomatoes.

Serves 8 - 10

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  1. I'm learning something new - "cooking" the bulgur with lemon juice. Thanks for the tip. I'll try this next tome instead of cooking it.

    I wish we had a place called Peachland. Actually, I would prefer Cherryland. :-)

  2. We have a place called Cherryville but that is further north.

  3. How nice! It makes my mouth water.

  4. Ah, this looks so refreshing! And what is awesome right now are all of the vine ripe tomatoes which melt in your mouth. Wonderful time to fix any stuffed tomato!


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