If you had to pick one cuisine to eat for the rest of your life, which would it be? Tough question, I know. I would have to pick Mediterranean food. Fresh herbs, ripe produce, lemons, feta and olive oil? Yes, please. More, please. Pass that salad, please. Mediterranean cooking features all of my favorite ingredients.
Given my predilection for Mediterranean food, I was excited to come across Maureen Abood ’s new (and first!) cookbook, Rose Water and Orange Blossoms . It’s full of fresh and classic recipes from Maureen’s Lebanese-American kitchen. Think hummus, labneh, kibbeh and the more gorgeous tomato salads. It offers quite a few traditional desserts, breads, pickles and teas, too. The book wasn’t designed for vegetarians, so I only skimmed through the meaty entrée section, but that’s just me.
I love Maureen’s respect for classic Lebanese dishes and the fun little twists she incorporates in some of her recipes, which stay true to the original but make them a little more unique. Take classic tabbouleh salad, for example—she added diced avocado for some extra richness and served it in lettuce cups as an appetizer. Brilliant. This is the best tabbouleh I’ve ever had, let alone made!
Be forewarned that this salad requires some time at the cutting board, but it’s totally worth it. You can prep both the parsley and the bulgur in advance. Bulgur is not gluten free, so if you need a gluten free alternative, I would substitute about 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (just a little will do, as this classic tabbouleh salad features far more parsley than grains). Feel free to serve it as a salad or as a fresh appetizer in little lettuce cups.
Author: Cookie and Kate
Recipe type: Salad
Source: Cookie and Kate