Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beet Tabouli Salad

Growing up I thought beets were the worst vegetable on the planet. I was regularly forced to swallow a bite of pickled beets (my dad's favorite veggie) at the dinner table. I hated them. I thought they tasted like dirt with salt and vinegar mixed in. Not so appealing to a 10 year old.

Many years later, I was sitting in Justin's kitchen, watching him eat, no inhale, pickled beets out of a can. Knowing that I was already in love with him I knew I had to make him some REAL pickled beets so that he wouldn't have to eat them from a tin can anymore. Since then I started trying beets again, slowly but surely I have developed a love for the deep purple root. Now I adore the earthy taste, especially when kicked up with a bit of salt and vinegar.

This week I canned 10 jars of pickled roasted beets. (Recipe: here. This is basically what I did, only with more garlic, rosemary and regular vinegar. Pretty much. That may need to be another post.)

Tabouli is a summer salad favorite because it doesn't require any cooking and is so light and refreshing for dinner or lunch. I also love making this to bring as my school lunch because it improves over night. Adding canned, roasted, or fresh shredded beets to the salad gives it an unusual, but delicious, twist.

I used fine bulgur wheat, which I found at an speciality store. I think it can also be found, in bulk at places like Whole Foods. Bulgur wheat has the same earthy quality as the beets so they are a great match.

Beet Tabouli Salad
1 cup fine bulgur wheat
1 1/2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus maybe more
juice of one lemon
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 cup or more, finely diced beets
2 cups parsley, finely chopped
optional: one cucumber, finely diced

1. In a large bowl add bulgur, hot water, and olive oil. Let rest until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. If the bulgur still seems hard or dry, add more water.
2. When bulgur is soft, fluff with fork and mix if the rest of the ingredients.
3. Taste. Adjust dressing with more salt, olive oil or lemon juice.

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