Friday, 29 May 2009

Barley Tabouli

Tabouli (tabbouli, or tabouleh) is a very popular Lebanese salad made with cracked wheat. I've replaced the cracked wheat with cooked barley since I don't know of any local producer of cracked wheat. The result is a little softer in texture, but just as good in my opinion; especially if you are a barley lover.

You can use more or less of the herbs, as you like or as you have, but they should be kept more or less in proportion. The parsley can dominate a bit more than I have it here, but don't let it take over completely.

2 to 4 servings
15 minutes prep time - but 2 hours advance prep required, at least

Barley Tabbouli
Make the Salad:
1/2 cup raw barley
a pinch of salt
1 cup minced green onions or chives
- can also put in a couple of minced garlic scapes, if in season
OR a small clove of garlic, finely minced
1 cup minced parsley
1 cup minced fresh mint
1 or 2 small Mediterranean type cucumbers (optional)
20 to 24 grape (small cherry) tomatoes

Cook the barley with a pinch of salt in 1 1/2 cups water. As ever, I do this in my rice cooker, and I cook extra to have on hand for other dishes and salads.

Wash, drain well, and mince the green onions or chives, the garlic scapes or garlic if available and wanted, the parsley and the mint.

Cut the cucumbers into small bite-sized pieces, if you are adding cucumbers.

When the barley is cool, break it up with wet hands, and mix it with the herbs and cucumbers. Toss it with the dressing.

I have left the tomatoes for last, as the salad can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours - without the tomatoes. At any rate, I think the salad does well to rest for at least half an hour once the dressing has been added. Rinse the tomatoes and cut them in halves or quarters, and add them to the salad at the last moment.

Make the Salad Dressing:
the juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sunflower seed oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
a pinch of cayenne or other hot ground chile

Whisk or shake together and set aside until wanted.

1 comment:

practic said...

Very nice recipe.

I make Tabouli with barley as well, only I use whole barley, chop it in a small stone mill (with the stones set apart, so it doesn't become flour), and then cook that in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes.

I put the barley with water in a steel bowl inside the pressure cooker, with 4 cups of water outside the bowl, in the pressure cooker itself.

After that, I rinse the cooked barley to get rid of any extra starch. Then it's ready for Tabouli.

I like your recipe though and will save it. "1 cup of mint"? Wow, that's a lot, but I like mint, so I'm going to try this.

Thanks for sharing!