Whenever we have a picnic, I make tabouli salad. Each time it turns out a little different (depending on what ingredients I throw in). This particular recipe (featuring fresh bell peppers) is one of my favorites and probably the one I make the most often.
The red and yellow organic bell peppers that I buy at our nearest farmer’s market have just been so good lately. I haven’t even wanted to cook them. They have their own sweet flavor and can easily be eaten raw.
I’m also on a parsley kick and find that a tabouli dominated by it (rather than by grains) is much better. I used to put in a lot of bulgur and only a little parsley – lately, I’ve been doing the exact opposite, and only putting in a small portion of grains. That’s the great thing about making tabouli – you choose the ratios. In this version, the dominant tastes are parsley, bell peppers and lemon – lots of lemon.
I’ve also been playing with the type of grain I put in. My favorite so far is a combination of both bulgur and quinoa. Straight bulgur, I’ve decided, makes the salad too heavy for summer picnics.
These ingredients are just to give you a rough idea. I don’t actually follow them, but let the salad tell me what it wants!
Bulgar and quinoa (about 1/2 cup uncooked)*
Parsley (2 bunches, chopped)
1 bell pepper (red or yellow, diced)
1 cup chickpeas (cooked)
1/2 red onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup feta cheese*
Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1. Cook the grains and set aside to cool.
2. Prepare the other ingredients and mix them together in a big bowl.
3. Add the grains.
4. Sprinkle with olive oil (copious), a dash of vinegar, lots of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Just keep tasting and adding until you’re satisfied.
5. Pack in a box and refrigerate. It’s ready for a picnic.
*For a gluten-free vegan version, use only quinoa and leave off the feta.