Tabouli (.تبولة also tabbouleh, tabouleh, tabbouli, taboulah) is a Levantine vegetarian dish made mostly of finely chopped parsley with tomatoes, mint, onions, bulgur (that is soaked not cooked), and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and sweet pepper. Some variations add cucumbers, lettuce, or use semolina instead of bulgur. Tabouli is traditionally served as part of a mezze (small dishes served as appetizers) in the Arab world, but its popularity has grown tremendously in Western cultures.
Originally from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria, tabouli has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East. The wheat variety salamouni was cultivated in the Beqaa Valley region in Lebanon and was considered, in the mid-19th century) as well-suited for making bulgur, a basic ingredient of tabouli.
In the Middle East, particularly Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq, it is usually served as part of a meze. The Syrian and the Lebanese use more parsley than bulgur wheat in their dish. A Turkish variation of the dish known as kisir and a similar Armenian dish known as eetch use far more bulgur than parsley. Another ancient variant is called terchots. In Cyprus, where the dish was introduced by the Lebanese, it is known as tambouli. In the Dominican Republic, a local version introduced by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants is called Tipile.
“Work With What You Got!”
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Orzo is the Italian word for barley; however, orzo is not made from barley at all, but rather from semolina, which is a course ground flour made from durum wheat. With its shape reminiscent of slivered almonds, orzo cooks up in about half the time of rice, making it a speedy standby to have on hand to add heartiness to meals.
Just bring 3 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Add 8 ounces ( 1 1/2 cups) dried orzo and boil about 10 minutes until it has a firm, chewy texture. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking together. Drain orzo in colander and serve immediately.
Rinse orzo only if it will be baked or served cold in a salad. Otherwise, do not rinse as rinsing removes a light coating of starch that helps sauces and seasonings cling to the pasta.
For the best texture and flavor serve orzo immediately after cooking. If your orzo gets done before the rest of the meal, you can keep it warm by returning the cooked drained pasta to the warm cooking pan. Stir in a little butter or olive oil to prevent it from sticking together. Cover the pasta with a lid and let it stand no more than 14 minutes.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved