Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tropical Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is perfect hot weather food.  No cooking and lots of flavor.  You already know how to make the usual tabbouleh, cracked wheat soaked in water and tomato juice and garnished with tomatoes, cucumbers, lots of mint and parsley and a good dash of lemon juice and high quality olive oil.  Now try a tropical version with fruit juice, pineapple, mango, scallions, cilantro and mint. 

Tropical tabbouleh goes really well with any grilled food and I've been bringing it to the office for a light lunch on steaming hot days.  I soak the wheat in its liquid overnight in the refrigerator then add fruits and herbs.  Most recipes call for soaking for an hour and that is fine if using bulgar wheat in your recipe.  If using cracked wheat, plan on at least three hours or more to get the grains to swell to a nice, chewy consistency.

Tropical Tabbouleh
Yield: about 2 cups, recipe can be doubled

1/3 cup cracked wheat (bulgar wheat may be substituted)
2/3 cup liquid (combination of water and fruit juice such as apple or pineapple juice)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch salt
1 cup chopped fruit--any combination of fresh pineapple, mango, jicama, Asian pear*
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fresh, chopped mint


  1. Mix wheat, water, juice and salt in a bowl or resealable container that can hold about one quart.
  2. Cover and store in refrigerator until wheat has absorbed the liquid and had softened.  Plan on 1-3 hours.  
  3. Stir in fruit, scallions, red pepper and herbs. Taste and add additional salt if needed.  
*Tip: try using a fresh fruit salsa as the fruit in this recipe.  Many markets sell healthy ones like mango salsa that already have some onion and bell pepper too.