Food Word of the Week

Tabbouleh [tuh-boo-luh, -lee]: A salad of Lebanese origin composed mainly of bulgur (a type of dried cracked wheat), tomatoes, parsley, mint, onions, lemon juice and olive oil

Origin: Arabic

Tabbouleh, tabouleh or tabouli has as many flavors and health benefits as it does spellings. This fresh, healthy grain and vegetable salad is traditionally served as part of a mezze, the Middle Eastern version of an appetizer or tapas. It's basically a combination of superfoods, from the protein, iron and calcium found in quinoa and bulgur, to the antioxidants and vitamins found in fresh herbs and everything in between. Tabbouleh is not only a colorful, filling and refreshing dish, but a power-packed bowl of health foods that is sure to make your body grateful. Tabbouleh is the national dish of Lebanon where it's thought to have originated, but is now increasing in popularity all over the world as different cultures put their own spins on this classic dish. Tabbouleh is especially popular in vegan and vegetarian cuisines, and goes great over lettuce leaves — as traditionally eaten in Lebanon — or used as a dip for vegetables, pita or on top of falafel sandwiches. Though bulgur is used in the traditional recipes, using quinoa is usually easier, and also makes the dish gluten-free. Tabbouleh is also an easy way to upgrade any of your non-vegetarian meals, by adding it on top of fish, chicken or other proteins. Try this recipe for quinoa tabbouleh courtesy of Bon Appetit, or try it next time you order falafel.

Courtesy of Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large English cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

Step 1:

Bring quinoa, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Step 2:

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 3:

Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.