Pesto to the rescue

I’ve always loved tabbouleh, but I rarely make it because my favorite recipe, from the Lake Austin Spa Resort, calls for fresh mint, fresh parsley, fresh chives…and for someone without an herb garden handy, it means buying all those herbs for one dish.

Enter Cooking Light. I found a tabbouleh recipe in a Cooking Light Annual that incorporates purchased pesto to infuse the bulgur with all that herby goodness, and the only fresh herb I need to add is parsley. How easy is that? It turns out that the pesto adds a really great flavor to the mix, and blends really well with the tomatoes and the feta.

This makes a lot for just two people, but we packaged it up for lunches during the week, so it worked out well. The addition of chickpeas makes this a bit heartier…all you need is a bit of pita bread and you have a delicous lunch.

Tabbouleh with Beans and Feta

  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked bulgur or cracked wheat
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup commercial pesto
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 (7-inch) pitas, cut in half

Combine bulgur and boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes, and drain. Combine pesto with lemon juice; stir with a whisk. Combine bulgur, pesto mixture, tomatoes and the next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Serve with pita halves.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking Light magazine, July 2000.

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