This special fall version of tabouli salad is a bright dish made with ultra healthy wheat berries and sweet apples. This easy salad is going to call you home after a long day with its wholesome and satisfying crunch from pomegranate seeds and apples, bright citrus notes and toothsome whole grains!
Tabouli salad is a classic Levantine recipe that often shares the table with the likes of hummus, pita and meat skewers. I've adapted the traditional recipe to really take advantage of the beautiful fall bounty. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did when I prepared it over a recent holiday weekend on the Maine Coast. It's incredibly healthy, packed with all the benefits of whole grains including fiber, protein and B vitamins. For vegetarians or anyone who would like to reduce their meat consumption, the wheat berry can be an important contribution to a balanced and sustainable diet. Parsley, the other main ingredient in any tabouli salad recipe, is another super food. It's chock full of iron, vitamin K and C.
Wheat berries are a whole grain, which is what makes them so healthy, it's also why they take longer to cook. In order to reduce cooking time and improve the texture, I recommend soaking them in water overnight. One minute of planning will save you at least a half hour of cooking time!
As for the parsley, I recommend chopping it by hand with a sharp chef's knife get the finest product. A food processor tends to bruise the herb. For apple, I recommend something sweet and crunchy, a good eating apple such as honey crisp, gala, or fuji. Since apple is ranked number one on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen List, I recommend buying organic.
Makes about 4-6 servings
Parsley, 2 bunches
Mint, 1 bunch
Wheat berries, 1 cup
1 small red onion
1 large apple
Juice of 2-3 lemons
Extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp
Sumac, 2 tbsp (optional)
Salt, to taste (I use~1.5 tsp)
Pomegranate as garnish (optional)
Soak the wheat berries in a bowl covered with water overnight. To cook, boil a pot of three cups of water and a generous pinch of salt. Add the soaked wheat berries and cover, simmering over low heat for about 40 minutes or until the wheat berries are soft, but still al dente. Turn off the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes, covered. If there is still water left in the pot, drain the wheat berries.
While the wheat berries are cooking, rinse and chop the parsley and mint as fine as possible. Dice the red onion and soak in a bowl of cold water for at least 20 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl with the chopped parsley and mint. Once the wheat berries are done cooking and have cooled, add them to the bowl along with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and sumac, mix and taste. If it needs moisture or acid, add lemon juice and/or olive oil. This tabouli salad recipe will taste even better the next day, once the flavors and juices have mingled overnight. Enjoy
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Image by Sabrina Pashtan