Friday, August 12, 2011

Spicy Tex-Mex Tabbouleh

Gourmet Magazine, while it was still being published, had a section at the beginning, that featured great recipes sent in by dedicated readers. One of the recipes that caught my eye was the Tex-Mex Tabbouleh, and I've made it so many times, it feels like my own. The tomato juice, cumin and Tabasco gives the bulgur a great spicy kick, and the robust combination of chopped vegetables and cilantro, makes the salad a more flavourful and colourful alternative to a traditional Lebanese tabbouleh. 'Tabbouleh' is an Arabic word meaning 'a little spicy' and is a traditional dish from Turkey and Greece through to the Middle East. This Tex-Mex Tabbouleh is absolutely delicious a with it's Moorish influences, would be great with grilled lamb, beef kebabs or barbecued quail, with maybe a small dish of sliced cucumber, dill and yogurt on the side.

Tex-Mex Tabbouleh
Serves 4-6 

1 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup bulgur
10 oz. frozen corn, thawed, drained
3 large fresh plum tomatoes, seeded, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small green bell pepper, finely diced
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely diced
5 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Tabasco

Combine the first seven ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then stir in bulgur. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand until bulgur is tender, liquid is absorbed and mixture is at room temperature, about 1 hour.

Fluff bulgur with fork. Transfer to large bowl. Add corn, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and cucumber and toss gently. Whisk oil, cilantro, vinegar, garlic and hot pepper sauce in medium bowl to blend. Pour over vegetable mixture. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and more Tabasco if you wish. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. This dish can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated. Serve cold or at room temperature.