OK – this is the last Cookbook Challenge recipes from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I had a huge bunch of parsley that needed to be used up so tabbouleh seemed like the perfect choice. And what better to go with tabbouleh than hummus with some warm pitas. That makes a nice meal.
I usually think of tabbouleh as a grain salad because it is made with bulgur wheat. While it does have bulgur in it, it is really an herb salad; lots and lots of herbs, a few vegetables and some bulgur to go along with.
I followed the How to Cook Everything Vegetarian recipe (more or less) exactly – with one glaring exception. I was a little short of mint. My mint plant was not as prolific as it needed to be. I only had about a quarter cup of mint.
Ingredients for tabbouleh
So here are the ingredients you will need:
- 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups fresh parsley
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup scallion
- 1 really good tomato
I used Bob’s Red Mill Bulgur. I cooked the bulgur according to package directions, and I actually cooked some extra because I had another use for it. Bulgur is a terrific whole grain because it cooks very quickly. With a ratio of 1 part grain to 2 parts water, the bulgur was cooked in about 15 minutes.
Once the bulgur was cooked and slightly cooled it was time to start chopping. Roughly chop the parsley and mint. Chop the scallion and tomato. The tomato is optional. You can skip it if you don’t have a really delicious one on hand.
In a large bowl add the cooked bulgur (about a cup and a half), herbs, tomato, scallion, olive oil and lemon juice.
Tabbouleh ingredients, chopped
Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Beautiful Bowl of Tabbouleh
This tabbouleh is gorgeous. It looks so fresh and flavorful!
Next up, I prepared the hummus. Earlier in the day I had cooked a pot of chickpeas. I used Rancho Gordo chickpeas.
In my small crock pot I cooked about a cup of chickpeas with 4 cups of water. I let them cook all day as the recipe calls for them to be well cooked.
Ingredients for Hummus – except for the lemon!
For this recipe you will need:
- 2 cups well-cooked, drained chickpeas (reserve the cooking liquid)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 peeled cloves of garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon cumin or paprika (and a little more for garnish)
- salt and pepper
Tahini is a sesame paste. It looks like peanut butter. Most stores carry it. You may find it in the peanut butter aisle. Or it might be in the Kosher section. It will keep for a long time in the refrigerator.
Hummus ingredients – ready to process
Put chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon, paprika in a food processor. I have two food processors and I always use the larger, more powerful one for hummus so that I end up with a smoother result. Turn on the processor. Add cooking liquid as needed (in small amounts) to get a smooth puree.
For dinner I served the hummus and tabbouleh with some warm pita bread. I used Ezekiel pocket breads. They are made from whole grains and they don’t have any weird ingredients. You can find those in the freezer section of well stocked stores. served a yogurts sauce that I made using Greek yogurt, lemon juice and some spicy chili paste, like Srirachi. And I chopped up some cucumbers, red pepper and romaine lettuce.
The Verdict: This was a fantastic dinner. The tabbouleh was just perfect. It was so fresh tasting. It had a lot of lemon so it was very bright. The bulgur gave the salad a nice nutty quality. That was great. I am in love with that recipe. I have eaten lots of tabbouleh in my day and this was the best. Husband ate seconds and thirds of this salad.
The hummus was delicious also. I make hummus from time to time and we aren’t usually all that thrilled with the outcome. But this hummus was great. It was balanced. Not too tart. Not too garlicky. It was just right. Husband was very impressed too.
We made pita sandwiches with hummus and lots of vegetables. The tabbouleh tasted great as a side dish but it was also terrific tucked into the pita sandwich.
I loved both of these recipes and I will definitely make them again. This is the only hummus recipe that I will use in the future. Delicious!