Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh, flavours of the Mediterranean enjoyed by Dairy Free, Diabetic and Low Calorie diets among many others.



Also referred to as a parsley salad, Tabbouleh can be personalised according to taste and the availability of ingredients.

To the parsley is added a softened grain. I have used millet, which is gluten free and a tasty alternative to couscous or bulgur. To this, my personal ‘essential’ ingredients are mint and a few sweet spices including allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Tomato and spring onion are also regular ingredients; and I often add roasted red pepper and other finely chopped vegetables I happen to have available, eg beans or small broccoli florets.

If the salad is to be a meal, add some protein such as yoghurt sauce, nuts, feta cheese, grilled halloumi cheese or grilled tofu, selecting appropriately for any diet you are catering for.

Diets for which Tabbouleh is suitable:

Dairy Free, Diabetic, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Vegan.

Ingredients

Preparation: 15 mins | Cooking:15 mins| Serves:2

1/2 cup millet*
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
450g (1 lb) ripe tomatoes, ripe**
4 spring onions (Fodmap diet see notes)***
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp olive oil****
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Method

RINSE the millet and allow it to drain completely.
HEAT a saucepan to a medium heat and add the millet.
STIR it continuously as the grain dries, beginning to turn golden but does not brown. (Keeping the grains moving to ensure they do not stick to the pan.)
ADD water.
BOIL and reduce the heat to simmer, cover and leave for 20 minutes. (All the water should be absorbed.)
STAND for 5 minutes.
FLUFF the grains with a fork.
CHOP finely the tomatoes and spring onions.
ADD lemon zest and juice and spices to the tomato/onion mix.
RINSE the parsley and mint thoroughly, removing most of the stalks.
CHOP finely the parsley and mint.
MIX all the ingredients and taste. (It may require a little salt.)

Serve

– As a light meal or salad with a selection of dishes.
– Garnish with pomegranate or toasted quinoa.

Notes

* Substitute millet with other appropriate grain, eg quinoa or couscous (not Fodmap or Gluten Free)
** Other vegetables may include: peppers, chillies, courgettes, mushrooms, cucumber, broad beans, peas, carrots, broccoli, olives, sugar-snap peas, mangetout and spinach.
*** For Fodmap diet use only the green tops of the spring onion.
**** For the salad to be a complete meal and protein: dress the salad with a yoghurt sauce; top liberally with nuts, eg almonds, pistachio, pine nuts or walnuts (not Nut Free); add feta cheese or grilled halloumi (not Dairy Free, Raw or Vegan); or grilled tofu.

Variations

– Make this salad a complete meal with the addition of at least 1/2 cup (80gm) roasted nuts for protein. I particularly like hazelnuts or almonds.

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