I’m a huge advocate of using what you’ve got in your fridge and cupboards, and I like to call it “kitchen sink cooking”. A lot of happy kitchen accidents have been born this way and it ensures no food goes to waste (a HUGE pet peeve of mine). The other night this “tabbouleh” was born out of just that and I’m happy to say it will probably be making a reappearance soon.
Traditionally, tabbouleh is made with bulgar wheat, but I try and stay away from gluten so I made mine with brown rice (note: if you want a more bulgar wheat/couscous texture, you can use quinoa, we just didn’t have any in our cupboards). I also added chickpeas and spinach to make the dish a more well-rounded meal, and heated it because it’s winter and warm food is necessary.
Tabbouleh My Way
For the bowl:
1 cup of brown rice
1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas (approximately 1 can, but I used dried chickpeas and it came out to be 1.5 cooked)
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup diced tomatoes
2 cups of chopped spinach
For the dressing:
1/2 cup of hummus (homemade is always better, but store-bought is fine)
juice of 1-2 lemons
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch of finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup of chopped mint
1. Cook brown rice in 3 cups of boiling water or vegetable stock until absorbed (approximately 40 minutes)
2. In a large pan or wok heat the sesame seeds for 1-2 minutes until toasted, constantly stirring them so they won’t burn.
3. Add garlic and give it a stir. Add spinach and tomatoes, mix well and then cover so the spinach can steam. If the mixture is too dry, add a splash of water. Turn the heat to medium/medium-low.
4. After a 2-3 minutes the spinach should be lightly steamed and wilted. Add the cooked rice and chickpeas to the wok, give it a good mix and turn the heat off.
5. In a bowl mash the avocado then add the hummus and lemon juice until a thick sauce-y consistency is achieved, you may need to add more lemon juice or a bit of water to thin it out. Add spices to taste.
6. Dish out the rice/chickpea mixture, pour a liberal amount of dressing and top with desired amount of green onions and mint (note: a lot of green onion and mint really crisps up the dish nicely, so don’t be shy).
Enjoy your Friday pretty people!