Wednesday, August 5, 2015
NOT TOO LONG AGO, I WAS SHOPPING at a lovely locally owned natural foods store. I had a list but I was also browsing, for inspiration and ideas, at some of the other beautiful and well selected foods offered.
I love shopping in small specialty food stores. The prices are often very good and the service is usually excellent. Not to mention they sell food. Only food. I am so weary of giant stores. If I have a small list of fresh produce, brown rice, olive oil, yogurt, and feta cheese, I really don't want to wade through lawn chairs, market umbrellas, stack after stack of soft drinks, a pharmacy, stinky scented candles that make me sneeze.
I shop for food almost everyday. That way, my food is always fresh and I don't waste. I typically shop for household supplies--dish soap, laundry detergent, bathroom tissue, etc. monthly. So I don't appreciate my food having to share space with all that merchandise.
I know the concept--everything you need in one "convenient" location. Between the huge store, the huge parking lot, the long lines at checkout, it takes seemingly forever to shop at those places.
Back to the lovely food store. . .
A small bag of freekeh, roasted, cracked green wheat, caught my attention and into the shopping basket it went. I had no idea what I would use it for, but I love designing recipes around newly discovered and healthful ingredients.
Several weeks later, I was staring out my kitchen window while washing dishes. I was admiring the beautiful stand of parsley growing in the border garden and thought to myself that tabouli would be a delicious way to enjoy it. I remember the freekah in the pantry and, click, this recipe came together.
Normally I make tabouli with bulghur which is traditional. The taste of this tabouli was not that different but the grain, freekah, had a different and pleasant, slightly chewy texture. It was so, so, very refreshing on the hot day I made it, and we both loved it very much.
1 cup freekeh (roasted green wheat)
2 1/2 cups water
2 bunches parsley (about 6 - 8 cups)
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, sliced (about 1 cup)
2 - 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1 - 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded. and diced
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Place freekeh and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 25 - 30 minutes, until water is absorbed and freekeh is tender. Let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, wash and chop the parsley and mint, slice the scallions, dice the cucumbers and tomatoes, and squeeze the lemons.
Add the cooled freekeh to a large salad bowl. Stir in the parsley, scallions, mint, cucumber, tomatoes, olive oil, and lemon juice. Let sit for 30 minutes or more, then stir, taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.