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College is where I was introduced to — and fell in love with — Middle Eastern food.  That’s when I finally made the connection that the delicious chickpea spread on my plate was the same stuff at the grocery store that I had previously pronounced “who-moos”, as though I were onomatopoetically trying to identify a cow.

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But I was fortunate to spend my college and grad school years in Southeast Michigan, where a flourishing population of Arab immigrants has made shawarma, baba ghanouj, and kibbeh as commonplace as square pizza and coney dogs.  The S.O. and I made quite a habit of eating Middle Eastern food in Michigan.  But the one thing I could never get into was tabbouleh (also tabbouli, tabouleh).

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Tabbouleh, that tangy salad of bulgur (also called cracked wheat or burghul), parsley, and tomatoes, and made sometimes with onions.  It was the parsley, really, that killed tabbouleh for me.  I know parsley is full of antioxidants and more vitamins than there are letters in the alphabet, but I’ve always had difficulty with its bitterness and tire store aroma.

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Recently, however, I’ve worked parsley in to a few recipes, and have realized that parsley is actually quite nice with the right companions.  Blackberries and blueberries happen to be wonderful companions of parsley, and the three team up to make a good-for-you tabbouleh that tastes good too!  And if you’re like me and have always been a tabbouleh-hater, this is the recipe that will turn you.

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Black & Blue Berry Tabbouleh

Makes 3 servings | Prep time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp bulgur
  • 1/3 C warm water
  • 1 C finely-chopped parsley
  • 3/4 C blackberries, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 C blueberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, soak bulgur in warm water for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Once bulgur is tender, drain excess water, rinse, then drain again.  Add to large bowl, and mix in with other ingredients.

Notes

    • Recipe is suitable for vegan and raw diets
    • Bulgur can be found in most upscale grocery stores, health food stores, and Middle Eastern markets

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