Until recently, I hadn’t had tabbouleh since my college days. At RIT there was an area of the cafeteria called Global Vegetarian which provided healthy Vegetarian and Vegan meals that were expertly prepared and a departure from the usual Vegetarian pasta option. I got food from there almost daily. (‘Cause sometimes that Vegetarian pasta option from the regular cafeteria was pretty tempting.) Eating at Global Vegetarian opened my eyes to a lot of new foods and cuisines. I’m not going to say that I was a sheltered child when it came to food from other cuisines but it wasn’t often that my family would have anything incredibly unique. We did a lot of Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc but growing up in a small town there weren’t a lot of other options than the more traditional ethnic subset of dining options. I’d never heard of things like couscous, hummus, or tempeh, or tabbouleh until I went to college.
I happened upon The Smith’s occasional podcast + blog by browsing the WordPress tag surfer. When I saw a post about tabbouleh, I was instantly taken back to my Vegetarian days and remembered how much I enjoyed the tabbouleh from the Global Vegetarian stand. For anyone who doesn’t know, tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern wheat salad containing lots of chopped fresh vegetables, herbs, and a tangy olive oil and lemon dressing. Laura was kind enough to email me the recipe as I’ve never made it for myself. (Thank you!) I actually had bulghur that I purchased from the organic market and we had some tomatoes and cucumber fresh from our garden. I made the dish and M loved it! (M is a bit of a picky eater and though he enjoys trying new things, sometimes a particular dish will not agree with his tastes the way it does mine.) He really enjoyed the light, lemony flavor, and as a fan of pita bread he was thankful to have found another item to enjoy it with. Thankful that the dish went over well I put it on the list to make again soon.
I was surprised when earlier this week M suggested I make the tabbouleh again. I happily obliged considering it’s good, cheap, easy, and healthy! On Saturday morning I made another batch using the recipe that Laura provided and some fresh cucumber and tomato from my Aunt’s neighbors garden. I also added some fresh mint clipped from my herb garden even though this particular recipe doesn’t call for it. Since this tabbouleh is a no-cook recipe, it had to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. We finally pulled it out for lunch today and enjoyed the tangy summery flavors stuffed into warm pita wedges.
Being reintroduced to tabbouleh has inspired me to try to recreate some of the other dishes that I remember enjoying as a Vegetarian. I’m a pretty adventurous eater when it comes to fruits, vegetables, and grains. Meat- eh, not so much. Though I’m no longer a Vegetarian and M never was, we still enjoy a lot of Vegetarian meals and cuisines. Next up for him to try and me to reminisce upon? Falafel.