In this variation, the classic Middle Eastern salad has been upgraded with oh-so nourishing broccoli and fresh and tasty dill. Forget the cauliflower “rice” trend. In this recipe, I’ll show you the merits of broccoli and how it is easily transformed into “couscous”.
Of course, cauliflower’s versatility is quite admirable. I can see why it is a winning choice for the carb adverse. Really, it’s amazing. It seems there’s nothing that can’t be substituted with it. Admittedly I won’t be trying to create a pizza base out of my head of broccoli, but then again, nor will I with cauliflower. Though, I can imagine that if it’s anything like roasted cauliflower then it must be pretty darn tasty.
With a little imagination anything can be transformed into something special. In this case, I think broccoli tabbouleh does the trick. Then again, I’m not one to cringe at the thought of broccoli in salads. Broccoli has always been one of my favorite green vegetables. It’s so easy to prepare; whether it be steamed, stir-fried or served raw (with a good hummus or herb and yogurt dip of course). But there are also other ways to put broccoli to good use — like making an absolutely tasty salad out of it! And one that’s a cinch to boot.
But how do you enjoy raw broccoli if you are not a fan of raw broccoli like I am? Here’s how: just blanch the broccoli for 1 minute. This will preserve its bright-green color (actually it will make it brighter) and keep it crisp for the salad, but the taste will be a little less…well raw. Though, I really don’t think it’s necessary. My favorite Schwabe devoured three servings of this salad and had no clue that there was even broccoli in it.
I completely forgot, but I usually include chopped cucumber in my tabbouleh (in this case, didn’t even miss it!), or feel free to add a little fresh chile for heat. This salad is perfect for serving during the summer months – you can make it a meal by serving it with hummus and some pita bread. Enjoy!
1/2 cup bulgur (100 g)
1 organic head of broccoli
1 large bunch (or 2 small bunches) fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (about 2-3 cups, loosely packed)
1 small bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (about 1 cup, loosely packed)
1 small bunch fresh dill, stems removed and finely chopped (about 1 cup, loosely packed)
300 g cherry tomatoes (the sweeter the better), quartered
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 baby cucumbers, diced (optional)
juice of 2 lemons
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Soak the bulgur. Place the bulgur in a small bowl and cover with boiling water by 1 cm. Set aside to soak until softened but still chewy, about 20 minutes. If all the water is not absorbed let the bulgur stand 10 minutes longer, or drain it in a colander to remove excess liquid. Set aside to cool.
2. While the bulgur is soaking, process whole broccoli (head and a little of the stalk) to coarse crumbs in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add the bulgur, herbs, tomatoes, green onion, cucumber to the bowl.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
5. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss well until thoroughly combined.
TIP: for a extra flavor and crunch (+ heart-healthy fats) just sprinkle with a few pumpkin seeds or pistachio nuts on top and enjoy!