Who put strawberries in my tabbouleh?
Food blogger Sara Forte, that’s who.
And I’m grateful that she did.
I love tabbouleh, but I don’t think I would have ever thought to substitute fresh strawberries for the usual tomatoes in it.
The recipe for “Strawberry Tabbouleh” is from her new cookbook, “The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.
Forte of Southern California is the creator of the beautiful blog, Sprouted Kitchen, which features photos by her husband, Hugh Forte. Her recipes are all about healthful, wholesome and seasonal.
As the name implies, this book spotlights recipes that are typically served in one bowl such as “Pumpkin Pie Steel-Cut Oats,” “Herby Picnic Potato Salad,” and “Seared Scallops in Thai Broth.”
Her “Strawberry Tabbouleh” can be made with the traditional bulgur or quinoa for a gluten-free version.
The grain salad is tossed with copious amounts of fresh mint and parsley. Cucumbers add crunch. Sheep’s milk feta may be listed as optional, but I think it’s a must because it adds a complementary tang, salinity and creaminess you’ll want.
Like tomatoes, the strawberries add sweetness and color. But less acidity, so there’s a rounder fruitier flavor. It’s sort of the best of both worlds — a savory grain salad and a fresh berry salad all in one.
I think you’ll find this tabbouleh quite beguiling.
3/4 cup bulgur wheat or quinoa
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 green onions, white and light green parts
1 pint strawberries
2 to 3 Persian cucumbers, or 1 English cucumber
1/3 cup finely chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled sheep-milk feat (optional)
Rinse and drain the bulgur or quinoa. Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil, add the bulgur or quinoa, turn off the heat, cover and set aside for 25 to 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the garlic, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
Thinly slice the green onions and add them to a large mixing bowl. Finely dice the strawberries and cucumbers and add them to the bowl. Add the cooled bulgur, mint, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, and feta and stir everything to mix well. Taste for seasonings and serve chilled or at room temperature.
The tabblouleh will keep, covered, in the fridge for 3 days, but it’s best the day it’s made.
From “The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon” by Sara Forte
More Riffs on Tabbouleh to Try: Quinoa-Carrot Tabbouleh