Saturday, August 14, 2010

Brown RiceTabbouleh



1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves 
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)
1 hothouse or English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced  (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups seeded, diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1.  Cook the brown rice according to package directions.  My package directions called for cooking 1 cup rice in two cups water (season with salt if desired).  Bring water to a boil, add rice and salt, stir, cover with lid, and cook over low heat for 35 to 45 minutes.  Allow rice to cool and place in refrigerator.

2.  Once the rice is cool, add the mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, salt, and the pepper.  In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and olive oil; pour over rice mixture & stir to combine.  Serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.

Last week, I tried to make tabbouleh with wheat bulgar. I've never had this dish, but found the ingredients appealing... hearty wheat bulgar, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, olive oil, lots of fresh parsley and mint.  I bought some wheat bulgar a really long time ago and was never sure what to do with it. As I was thinking of making up the tabbouleh and reading loads of recipes on-line, I realized I was missing the ingredients of traditional tabbouleh, so I decided to just wing it with ingredients on hand... wheat bulgar, fresh cilantro, limes, olive oil, tomatoes, celery, grated carrot... sounded good to me.  Since I had bought the wheat bulgar in bulk, I had no instructions on how to cook it.  The internet totally had me confused... cook like rice over low heat for 20 minutes or cook like couscous by pouring hot water over it and letting it sit?  I called the health food store and they suggested steaming? I was even more confused.  I went for the couscous method and while the bulgar wheat and boiling water sat, I went to chopping up all the fresh veggies.  I put it all together and, as I did, I decided it was either going to be fantastic or terrible... it was the latter and ended up in the trash.  Such a waste.  Blech!  It was icky!!!  But I persisted... I tried again this week with much better results.  For my recipe above, I combined two different recipes I found on-line and the recipes may be found  HERE & HERE.

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