The weather is still very hot, we were craving something refreshing, a light side dish with grilled chicken for dinner. And tabbouleh was the perfect choice. Crunchy, strong green color parsley leaves with red cherry tomatoes and white cauliflower are matching very nicely together.
Originally, it’s made with bulgur, but I used cauliflower instead, because it is whole wheat and contains gluten and it is not part of our paleo diet. Raw cauliflower is the perfect substitute, it does not have strong taste and it does not suppress the flavor of the parsley. The parsley is the bright and shining star in this food.
Tabbouleh originated from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria. Traditionally it’s served as a part of a mezze, what is a selection of small dishes served as appetizers in parts of the Arabic World. The word “mezze” is a reference to the meal platters as a whole. Lebanon dedicated a festivity day to tabbouleh, the first Saturday of July is the Lebanese National Tabbouleh Day every year. It became very popular in the Western cultures also, which is not surprising because it is very fresh and delicious.
It was not part of a “mezze” on my table, I served it with grilled chicken, like a side dish. This portion is enough for 4 persons if you serve it like an appetizer with a slice of grilled halloumi cheese example, but if served as a side dish it serves 2. It is very nice with grilled fish or lamb also.
Western cuisine has recreated countless variations of tabbouleh, sometimes it’s very difficult to find the traditional base, the parsley, what is the most important ingredient with lemon together in it. I tried to keep the original ingredients with only a slight adjustment to make it paleo.
- 100 gram parsley
- 100 gram cherry tomatoes
- 50 gram cauliflower
- 2 spring onions
- ½ lemon juice
- ½ lime juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- salt and pepper
- Chop parsley on chopping board, but not too finely and do not put it in blender or food processor, because we do not want to crush the leaves. Put chopped parsley into a bowl.
- Cut tomatoes to small dices and add to the parsley.
- Slice spring onions finely and add to the parsley also.
- Put cauliflower into food processor and pulse until looks like rice (or bulgur) then add to the parsley too.
- Pour lemon, lime juice and olive oil over the salad, season it with salt and pepper, then mix the salad very gently.
- Sprinkle the top with pomegranate seeds.