I can't tell you the first time i had tabbouleh but i'm pretty sure it's also the first time i fell in love. tabbouleh, which came to me first from a grand rapids gyro institution, is a traditional middle eastern vegetarian salad made with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, parsley, and cracked wheat. i had it paired with a perfect gyro - dripping with tzatziki and spice - and the smokiest, smoothest babaghanoush i've ever witnessed. ever since then, I make a point to go back whenever i'm home - i can't find the same perfection here. maybe it's an obsession?
traditionally, tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat. here i've opted to use freekeh, another cracked wheat from the levantine - made to look like a green bulgur. i like the gentleness of the fresh here - it really makes the herbs and vegetables the star of the show. of course, you can substitute bulgur - or even couscous! - which cooks in an identical fashion. although most recipes call for cooking it in water - we're gonna cook it in vegetable stock to give it that extra oomph.
want to make it vegan? super easy! substitute agave nectar in equal parts for the honey in the dressing.
1 tomato, seeded and small diced
1/2 onion, small diced
1/2 English cucumber, small diced
1/2 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup mint, minced
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1/4 cup freekeh
1/2 cup vegetable stock (plus more as needed)
2 tsp sumac
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
add freekah and stock to a small saucepan. bring to a boil, cover, and allow to simmer 10 minutes. turn off heat and let sit 10 minutes or until freekeh is soft, expanded, and liquid is absorbed.
in a small bowl, add garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, sumac, salt, pepper, and honey. slowly whisk in olive oil until fully emulsified and blended. toss with freekeh, diced tomato, onion, cucumber, parsley, mint, and dill. let sit for at least one hour to let flavors meld. serve in one half of an avocado - pit removed. drizzle with olive oil.