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Western Tabbouleh

Western Tabbouleh 1
I’m sure most of you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about with the name of this recipe. But, chances are, this is the sort of tabbouleh you’ve come to know and love. Really though, this is not how tabbouleh is supposed to be made (my mother will attest to that). Authentic tabbouleh is a predominantly parsley salad with some bulgur wheat sprinkled in (i.e. Marushka’s Tabbouleh).

This salad, which I saw on Barefoot Contessa, is not really tabbouleh (sorry, Ina). This delicious salad is more of a ‘Bulgur and Fresh Herb Salad with Chicken’ rather than a ‘Tabbouleh with Chicken.’ In any event, I’m calling it a ‘Western Tabbouleh’ because this is what most Americans have come to expect when they think of tabbouleh. The added chicken makes this more than just a side dish – it turns the salad into a pretty perfect light lunch.
Western Tabbouleh up

Western Tabbouleh

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat (if you can't find this or want something gluten free, you can substitute with quinoa and just cook it according to the package directions)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + more to drizzle on the chicken breasts
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup minced scallions (1 bunch)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (1 large bunch) - make sure it's thoroughly dried
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint (about 1/2 small bunch) - make sure it's thoroughly dried
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and medium-diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven 350°F
  2. Place the bulgur in a medium glass bowl and cover with the boiling water, lemon juice, olive oil and 1 1/2 tsp salt (let it sit at room temp for about 1 hour)
  3. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper - bake for 20-25 minutes until they're just cooked
  4. Place the parsley, mint, tomatoes, and cucumber in a large bowl
  5. Dice the chicken into medium pieces and add it to the bulgur; then add this mixture to the herbs and vegetables and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper
  6. Allow the salad to rest (the flavors will get better the longer it sits) - and then taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper
  7. Serve at room temperature with pita bread and Romaine lettuce

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten