Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Orzo "Tabbouleh"

Tabbouleh is a delightful Middle Eastern salad made of finely diced parsley and crushed wheat (bulghur).

This is a riff on the dish using Orzo - a pasta that looks like rice, intended to replace the crushed wheat component of the salad. My brother loudly exclaimed that Orzo was left over spaghetti that had been cut up till it resembled rice. Which is not true. Because seriously, who would want that job.
"Hello. Bon Giourno. I am Giuseppe. Cutter of Spaghetti-er".
But it darn looked like it.

So technically, this is probably not Tabbouleh. . But it "looked" like Tabbouleh. And hence the fine folk at Food and Wine named the dish so. Except they used Sardinian Fregola Sarda, which is a pasta so tiny, it "looks" like crushed wheat.
And I didn't.
I used Orzo, our rice imitating pasta. And I used flat leaf parsley. Because curly parsley was nowhere to be found. So maybe I should rename this dish "Tabbouleh on Steroids".

Make. Eat. It's chock full of greens, zippy with citrus and actually GOOD for you.

For the first time ever, I'm joining in at Pasta Party #165 - that would be Presto Pasta Nights (the brainchild of Ruth at Once Upon a Feast) and which is hosted this week by Rachel at The Crispy Cook.
Orzo Tabbouleh (adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, 2006)

1 cup orzo
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (reduce by half if you don't like strong lemon taste)
1 cup minced flat leaf parsley (chop fine)
1/2 cup chopped mint
1 kirby cucumber, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
Kosher salt to taste

1. Cook orzo (in boiling salted water in a large saucepan) until al dente, about 5-8 minutes. Drain, spread on a plate to cool.
2. Whisk olive oil and memon juice in a seperate bowl. Add parsley, mint, cucumber, garlic and toss.
3. Finally add cooled orzo and tomatoes and toss again. Season with salt and serve immediately.
Cooks Notes - the key is to mince the parsly and mint as finely as you can.


Asha said...

Orzo is such a pretty Pasta, looks almost like Rice grains. Tabbouleh looks delicious.

Ruth Daniels said...

Great post and lovely blog. I'm so glad you decided to share this pasta version of tabbouleh with Presto Pasta Nights and hope you plan on playing often.

Muneeba said...

I have some orzo in my pantry right now ... this looks like a new way to eat it .. love the middle eastern flavors!

Rachel said...

Looks like a great summer party dish. Thanks for sending this recipe over to Presto Pasta Nights this week.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

This is so clever! Especially as I often have orzo but not bulghur in the pantry. And LOL at Guiseppe the spaghetti cutter. Yes that wouldn't be a great job :P

The Food Hunter said...

call it what you want it looks delicious to me.

Joanne said...

I'm not sure which would be worse. Being a burger flipper at McDonald's. Or a spaghetti-to-orzo cutter. I have to think about this.

This tabbouleh looks delicious! Who cares what the carb of choice is as long as it is this good.

Claudia said...

A fine take on Tabbouleh, which will be wonderful on hot summer nights.

Welcome to the Pasta Party!