During my college days when I lived in Philly, I wasn't as conscientious as I am now about getting nutritious food into my body at regular intervals throughout the day. I might be heading home late at night to realize I hadn't bothered with dinner. Amazing. This would never, ever happen to me now! Eating food is one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, it's nice when you live in the city to get friendly with your neighbors, including local businesses. This worked out well for me, because one of those local businesses was a wonderful Middle Eastern restaurant. If I happened to be in luck on any given night while wandering home on an empty belly, one of the owners would pop out of the front door and ask me if I'd help them out by taking home whatever hummus and/or tabbouleh remained after closing. "Ah, well, I guess I could, since we're city neighbor buddies and all..." So that's how I made a meal out of tabbouleh back in my early twenties.
Now that I'm older and wiser, I understand that although delicious and nutritious as all heck, a plate consisting of mostly parsley just isn't enough to sustain me. I love tabbouleh though, and the thought of making a meal of it instantly makes my tastebuds perk up and my belly rumble. So, what did I do? I loaded it up! Chickpeas, kale and tahini dressing make this into an amazingly satisfying dinner. You could even take it a step further and top it with a couple of tofu or tempeh slabs, or scoop the salad up in pita wedges.
For the Salad
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 ½ cups boiling water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup sliced scallions 6-8 scallions
- 1 ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can drained
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- ½ tsp. salt
- black pepper to taste
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
Make the Salad
In large heatproof mixing bowl or saucepan, mix bulgur, lemon juice and olive oil. Cover and allow to sit for one hour at room temperature.
Whisk dressing ingredients together until smooth, adding as much water as needed to get an even consistency (I used about 2 tablespoons). You can also warm the tahini a bit to help this along.
Massage kale until tender. Mix remaining tabbouleh ingredients. Divide kale among plates and top with tabbouleh mixture. Top everything with dressing.