Blood Orange Tabbouleh

Blood Orange Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh – it’s new to me. While I’d like to think I wasn’t totally sheltered from international cuisines growing up, Middle Eastern food just wasn’t a thing for me in my formative years. There weren’t restaurants in my area (that I knew of, anyways), my friends didn’t eat it, and my parents didn’t seek it out.

I’m not sure if it’s just that the tide has changed over the past couple of decades, or it was me moving to New York, but now I’m surrounded by this fascinating (to me) and novel (again, to me) cuisine. Geopolitical quagmires aside, they’ve got some good food over there!

Blood Orange Tabbouleh

Take tabbouleh. Oh sure, I’d heard of it in recent years, but hadn’t tried it until somewhat recently. One of Matt’s foodier relatives made a batch at a family reunion, with tomato, lots of fresh herbs, and couscous as the base. Upon a little (admittedly cursory) research, I learned that tabbouleh originated in Syria and Lebanon, and it’s a grain-based salad with tons of fresh herbs. Some version (like my first one) use couscous while others (the one I’m sharing today) use bulgur wheat as a base. I find both please my palate, but as I’ve gotten more into whole grains lately, I chose a bulgur wheat based tabbouleh to feature on the blog.

And also, it’s February. I mean, you were probably aware of that, but the fact remains, it is February in the northeast United States where I’m shopping and cooking, so as you can imagine – no tomatoes. Instead, we’ll feature what we do have in abundance right now: winter citrus!!!

blood orange tabbouleh

The original recipe I’m adapting here called for grapefruit, a citrus I’ve never been too crazy about, so I decided to sub in blood oranges (while I still can!).

This was crazy delicious and so healthy and clean. And it’s very adaptable – you could definitely use grapefruit if that’s your thing, or feel free to sub in regular navel oranges once the blood oranges disappear for another season (sniff). If you’re a regular tabbouleh consumer, I feel certain you’ll enjoy this version; and if you’re new to this dish, I’d highly encourage giving it a shot!

Blood Orange Tabbouleh

{Two Years Ago: Coffee Rubbed Bacon}

Source: adapted from Carnivore by Michael Symon

½ cup bulgur wheat
Kosher salt
Grated zest and juice of 3 small regular or Meyer lemons
1 garlic clove, minced
Up to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 generous cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 blood oranges, peeled and segmented

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil over medium heat. Add the bulgur and cook until the bulgur has absorbed all the water and is slightly tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Start stirring when the water is almost gone, otherwise the bulgur touching the bottom of the pot will stick.
When done, season with ½ tsp kosher salt and set aside.
Meanwhile, add the zest and juice of the lemons to a small bowl. Add the garlic and the olive oil. Whisk to combine and season very lightly with salt. Set aside.
In a large salad bowl, combine the parsley, scallions, cilantro, and blood orange segments. Add the cooked bulgur wheat, then pour just enough dressing to lightly coat everything. Toss gently, coating the entire salad with the dressing, adding more as needed. You may have some dressing leftover though. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. Serve and enjoy!

5 responses to “Blood Orange Tabbouleh

  1. Ohhh -this looks heavenly and I just bought a bunch of blood oranges from Trader Joes!

  2. Pingback: Shrimp Langostino Étouffée

  3. So refreshing and fancy! I use to eat tabbouleh in summer but have never thought about orange. I’ll try this out!

  4. Wow, this looks phenomenal! I am a big fan of anything with cilantro.

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