Friday, August 12, 2011

Tabbouleh with Watermelon

I always thought of tabbouleh, also spelled tabouli, as a Palestinian meze.  You can find it on the streets of Jerusalem and Ramallah (as well as in Israel in both Israeli and Palestinian restaurants), but in fact tabbouleh's origins are in Lebanon and Syria (at least according to the Oxford Food & Nutrition Dictionary). The differences between the ubiquitous bulgur wheat salad in Lebanon and Syria is the proportions (or omissions) of several ingredients. But generally speaking, this salad contains parsley (the Lebanese use more), onion, mint, lemon, oil, and spices. Tomato is also traditionally used. The Turks have a similar dish called kisir and it contains tomato and pepper paste.  
This tabbouleh recipe in Martha Stewart Living caught my eye.  Here, "watermelon replaces the traditional tomato in this Middle Eastern salad, giving it bursts of sweetness. Goat cheese, another new add-in, provides creamy contrast." 
It's not difficult to make-- in fact it's very easy-- and it's a great summer side dish.  I would add a spritz of fresh lemon juice before serving, but that's pretty much it.  It's simple and not too ambitious.  Give this twist on tabbouleh a try! 
Tabbouleh with Watermelon (Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living)
Serves 4
1 1/4 cups water
Coarse salt
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
8 ounces watermelon (about 1/2 small), peeled and coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
Bring water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in bulgur, and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and let stand, uncovered, until cooled, 15 to 30 minutes.
Transfer bulgur to a bowl, and toss with watermelon, parsley, scallions, oil, lemon zest and juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently fold in goat cheese.

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1 comment:

  1. I liked this salad a lot. I added more salt and doubled the goat cheese and it was really good. Thanks.