My partner said that "Tabboul'ich" sounds more like a condition than a dish. I'd been wanting to try Tabbouleh for sometime and finally took the plunge. I bought a bag of the bulgur wheat at the grocery store and was happy to find a recipe on the back of the bag. I cut the recipe in half since it said it served 6. With just the two of us doing the eating, I do that often. I prepared the grains by soaking them in boiling water (1 for 1 - 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of grains). While they soaked, I diced some cucumber, grape tomatoes, and spring onions.
This dish has a lot of herbs in it so it's great to make when you need to go trim up the herbs a bit. The recipe called for parsley and mint but I also added fresh oregano and thyme. I put a bit more lemon juice in it than it called for. I mixed the lemon juice and olive oil first before tossing it in.
The day before, I knew I was going to make the Tabbouleh for dinner the next night. When I'd last had Tabbouleh, it was as an appetizer and served alongside hummus and tzatziki. Loving those combinations, I decided to combine two of them. I found a can of chick peas (or garbanzo beans) and decided to make hummus as well.
I started with caramelizing some onions. I'm usually too impatient to caramelize onions properly but I thought they would be so great in the hummus. I started a pan with some bacon grease left over from breakfast. Once the grease was hot, I added a half of an onion, three shallots and three garlic cloves. I had the heat on 4 at first and once everything was well coated and sizzling in the grease, I reduced it to 3. Once they all turned translucent, I reduced it to 2 and let it cook until I'd see a bit of browning. Stir and cook until everything is caramel colored. It took a good hour or more.
I added the onions and garlic mixture, one raw garlic clove, salt, pepper. Remember I said that this is a good dish for using herbs? Well, I love pesto and hummus so it hit me that they'd be great combined. I snipped a big bunch of basil and added it to the processor along with the beans on top of everything else I'd already added. I put a touch of sesame oil (in place of tahini since I didn't have any). When I say a touch, I mean a touch. No more than a few drops as it is very strong. Pulse the processor a few times to get things mixed up. Then add in a few gluts of olive oil and turn the thing on to puree. You should see it turning to the consistency of peanut butter. Keep scraping down the sides as you process so that the hummus comes out smooth and not gritty. If you need to add more oil (if it seems to thick and not getting smooth), then add it a bit at a time so that it's not overly oily.
Since I was making the meal the next day, I simply tossed it in the fridge to let the flavors set a bit. Now, fast forward a day and I've just made my Tabbouleh. I wanted it for dinner so I wanted to do something more than just set it on a plate with the hummus and pita chips. I decided to make a sandwich with the pita halves. I split the pita and then rubbed the hummus on the inside and stuffed them with the tabbouleh. That's where I get tabboul'ich. They were really good, very healthy and quite filling for dinner.
Some things I'd do differently is that I'd warm the pita. I'd wanted to toast the pita but knew that it would probably end up breaking. It didn't hit me until after I was eating it that I could've simply warmed it. I'd also like to try the tabbouleh with some feta cheese and maybe some black olives.
I'm curious to figure out what else I can make with that bag of bulgar wheat but once I figure it out, I'll post it. For now, I have about two more portions to get through (and that's with halving the recipe).