Food & Dining

Lentils lend a fresh, healthy take on tabbouleh

alt

Try lentil tabbouleh. The classic combination of lemon, parsley and garlic on cracked wheat is good, but it can be so much more. 


My mother loves tabbouleh. And given how healthy it is, it's not such a bad food to love. Except that she made it a lot. As in, after I moved out, I avoided it at all costs. I'd grown up with a tabbouleh overload.

When I did eventually come back around to tabbouleh, I found that if I tweaked the recipe a bit, I liked it a lot more. The classic combination of lemon, parsley and garlic on cracked wheat is good, but it can be so much more. It can be different and inspired. And you don't have to bring the same version over and over to every backyard barbecue between the months of April and October.

I like to start by swapping out the traditional cracked bulgur wheat base for a different whole grain, such as farro, spelt, kamut, barley or even brown rice. For this recipe, I used green lentils, which are packed with nutrients, low in fat, and high in fiber and protein. Plus, they have a subtle flavor, perfect for a salad with plenty of other robust flavors.

Next up, the herbs. Traditionally, tabbouleh is made with lots of parsley and some mint. It's pretty easy to switch those up for just about any fresh, green, leafy herb. Try cilantro or even basil. We kept the parsley, but added a bit of oregano and thyme. To round it all out, we added red wine vinegar and lemon juice, minced fresh garlic, chopped celery, toasted almonds, chopped olives, and red bell pepper.

To finish it off, you'll want to add a drizzle of really good extra-virgin olive oil. Because it's a simple salad, the quality of the olive oil is important.

Lentil Tabbouleh

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

2 cups dry green or French lentils

Salt

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 stalks celery, diced

1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives

1 red bell pepper, cored and diced

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Ground black pepper

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until al dente, about 15 minutes.

Use a mesh strainer to drain the lentils, then spread them in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the parsley, thyme, oregano, garlic, celery, olives and red pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Drizzle the dressing over the herbs and vegetables, then mix thoroughly. Once the lentils have cooled (they don't need to be chilled, just no longer hot), add to the bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the almonds over the top.

Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories; 45 calories from fat (25 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 11 g protein; 160 mg sodium.

(Alison Ladman is a recipe developer for the AP. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CrustAndCrumbCo.)



More Close Up

Teen pregnancy: The good news and the bad

The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is among the highest in the world, and those at Coweta Pregnancy Services have their theories w ... Read More


Doc Holliday program Tuesday at Brenau U.

Doc Holliday, the Griffin dentist who went west and won fame as gunslinger, will walk again next week during a program in Gainesville. Thad ... Read More


Newnan Times-Past

Construction Under way on Addition to Newnan Hospital

Construction has begun on the new Mildred Arnall Peniston addition to the Newnan Hospital, and should be completed by next September, it was ... Read More


Weekender: See & Do

Photography Competition: • The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is announcing the call for entries for “Simple Pleasures: The Na ... Read More


Movie Review

Will Smith brings his career back into ‘Focus’

Put your wallet deep into your front pocket. Now push it a little deeper. Keep your purse very close to your body. Now pull it in just a lit ... Read More

White Chicken Chili Recipe

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI Ingredients • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped • 1 medium onion, chopped • 1 tablespoo ... Read More