Usually, I write these posts at night and schedule them to go up in the morning so I can roll out of bed 10 minutes before I technically should be working. Last night, I had no energy for writing so I went to bed in hopes of getting a good night’s sleep and waking up refreshed and ready to write about tabouleh an hour earlier than normal. Except that whole good night’s sleep thing never happened. I woke up no less than 5 times with this post on my mind knowing it wasn’t written. Apparently my brain now puts blogging on the same “importance” level as work spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations and early morning flights. I think we need to have a talk. I don’t enjoy waking up at 2am to visions of cells in excel spreadsheets or freaky animation issues in powerpoint, but at least that’s stuff makes me a living. Blogging? Not worthy of the 2am wakeup alarm.
Anyway, tabouleh. Or, tabbouleh. Take your pick. I’m going the one less letter route. The first time I had tabouleh (or at least remember having it) was at Mamouns in New Haven, CT when I was moving into my apartment straight out of college. I’m not sure if the tabouleh experience sticks out in my head because of Mamouns (a total hole in the whole type of place people swear by for falafel) or because of my apartment and the epic disgustingness encountered that day.
I must’ve had rainbow goggles on when first looking at the place because when we opened the door to move my stuff in we found a previously roach infested, filthy, golden yellow bathroom decorated apartment. No amount of scrubbing made that place feel clean. We moved in under the landlord’s promise to do a “quick” renovation of the bathroom and kitchen in the coming weeks. I thought, “ok, I can handle a few weeks.” Well, weeks turned into months and it wasn’t until 6 months later that we found ourselves in the middle of the highly anticipated renovation with our bathroom out of commission and a huge spackle bucket lined with a garbage bag and a toilet seat affixed to the top. How considerate. We weren’t actually living in the apartment at the time (which would’ve been a slow affixation by saw dust), but I guess he assumed my roommate and I were. I was so tempted to actually use that “toilet” just to see if he’d empty it.
So again, back to the tabouleh since I seemed to have digressed from food to makeshift toilets. I can distinctly remember eating this minty concoction next to my falafel and thinking “what the heck IS this?”. It’s refreshing and makes a great side dish to something that has a ton of garlic in it, like my (overrated) falafel did because it at least feels like it’s taming your dragon breath even if it’s all just an illusion.
After what seemed like a week of rain, my potted herbs were going a bit cray-cray outside and I needed to make something to remedy that. No little garnish of parsley was going to suffice, I needed a full out dish of it. Enter tabouleh. Except with a twist because there were also 2 quarts of CSA strawberries hanging out in my fridge needing to be used.
Strawberries from the CSA and herbs from my front steps, it doesn’t get much more fresh, summery and delicious than that. Even when you’re thinking of makeshift, third world country-type toilets with each bite.
- ½ cup cooked bulgar wheat
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup orange bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon honey
- salt & pepper
- Combine bulgar, herbs, strawberries and walnuts in a small bowl and toss together.
- In another small bow, whisk together remaining ingredients to make dressing.
- Pour dressing over tabouleh and and toss together.
- Either serve immediately or chill for later. Flavors develop the longer it sits.
A big thank you to California walnuts for the sample used in this! This is not a sponsored post in anyway just my idea to throw them into this dish since they arrived on my doorstep midway through making this.