Italian parsley is incredibly nutritious and affordable. It has more Vitamin K and folate than kale, and one cup will provide 100% of DV of Vitamins A and C. Tabbouleh is a great way to get in a big serving of parsley and take a break from your usual greens. It’s also perfect for summertime.
Our tabbouleh is gluten free: the standard small grains of bulgur (hard wheat that’s been par boiled, dried, and cracked) have been replaced by roasted garbanzos. I love the flavors and bite of a traditional tabbouleh, but the tiny bits of bulgur and finely chopped parsley look like food that should be eaten with a teaspoon.
Roasted garbanzo beans give our tabbouleh more texture, flavor, and protein–they’re a welcome contrast to the other raw ingredients. A can of organic garbanzos is 99 ¢ at Trader Joe’s; for less than a dollar you get 21 grams of protein and 21 grams of fiber. Drain them, toss in a little olive oil, season (I like za’atar but just salt and/or some dried Italian seasoning will do fine) then roast at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. It’s a great snack, too.
We’ve also included a sliced and quartered English cucumber (you don’t need to peel those), chunky lengths of red onions, and a small handful of finely chopped mint. Add some cherry tomatoes if you like them in your summer salads. Their sweetness mellows out the lemon juice and garlic, but the salad will work nicely as a companion to a meat dish without them. Green tabbouleh is great with skewers.
Coarsely chopping the parsley helps give the salad body if you are planning on having it as a leftover, too. As an optional touch, you can sprinkle on some crumbled feta.
A note on the dressing: Ours is about half olive oil and half fresh lemon juice, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. The ratios are up to you. The recipe will make a generous amount (you don’t need to use it all) but this salad is better a little wet than dry, especially if you are combining it with a grilled meat like kabobs.
A note on the tomatoes and cucumbers: Don’t slice your cucumbers too thin if you are planning on the tabbouleh as a leftover, and you may want to reserve a few cherry tomatoes to refresh the salad or keep them whole.
Turn oven to 425 degrees. Open can of chickpeas and pour into a colander.
Run water over them to rinse off the starch, and shake the colander to drain the water. Pour them out onto a double paper towel to dry out until oven warms.
Line sheet pan with parchment for roasting garbanzos.
Rinse parsley and mint and pat dry with towel. Peel onion and wash cucumber, removing the plastic covering if you used an English cucumber. Rnse and dry cherry tomatoes.
Place garbanzos into a small bowl and add 2 T of olive oil, and add seasoning (za’tar, Italian seasoning, or dried oregano. Mix around in the bowl with a spoon and add salt. Pour onto the sheet panand spread the garbanzos so they don’t touch. Garbanzos in the photo have not yet been spread out.
Roast garbanzos for 20-23 minutes–you may hear them pop–and remove from oven. They will firm up as they cool.
Mix salad dressing by combining all the ingredients. Taste and adjust, if necessary. Remember the dressing will taste different once it’s combined with the salad. You can also add more of any of the dressing ingredients once the salad is tossed.
Cut mint leaves very finely. Coarsely chop the parsley, onion, and English cucumber; if you wish, you may also chop the garbanzos like I did in this photo because they were cooked a little longer. Or you can pour the whole roasted garbanzos directly onto the salad before dressing it. Either way, be sure to include the spices from the parchment paper–they will enhance the flavor of the salad.
Pour about ⅔ of the dressing over salad and toss lightly, taste and add more dressing if necessary. Incorporate the cherry tomatoes, whole or sliced, and gently re-toss (I don’t like to bruise the cut cherry tomatoes so I do at the end.