Kale Walnut Cherry Tabbouleh (GF + V)
I’m not sure where or why I fell in love with tabbouleh, I just did. In the U.S., tabbouleh is traditionally made with parsley, bulgur wheat, and chopped tomatoes, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. I love the acidic bite and the greenness of it’s flavors and to me, traditional tabbouleh embodies the taste of the color “green”. I have already professed my adoration for the Zahav Cookbook, in my earlier Israeli hummus post, and once I finally got past the Hummus part of the book I learned of the endless variations that tabbouleh can take, which of course made me so happy because variety really is the spice of life.
To be honest, it had never occurred to me to actually make tabbouleh at home until I got this cookbook. When I did make it, I’m not sure why I was surprised how easy it is. I have since made the traditional, as well as some variations using quinoa and other grains. For this version, Chef Solomonov points out that kale has the same qualities that parsley does, in that it doesn’t wilt easily from the acidity of the dressing but actually improves over time, which makes it a perfect substitute for parsley in tabbouleh. This was good news to me this week because for some reason flat parsley has been scarce lately in the places where I shop, but kale has been plentiful so I decided to try making tabbouleh with kale and, Hallelujah, he was right again.
The other variation of note in this recipe is the use of chopped walnuts instead of bulgur wheat, making this salad wheat-free. I am in favor of any recipe which helps me clean out the nooks in my pantry and I happened to have a few walnuts hanging around, left from some other recipe. In the cookbook, the wheat-free version has apples and pomegranate seeds in it, which I will surely make this fall, but today I used pale yellow tomatoes in place of the apples and chopped ripe cherries since these are in season right now.
As with all salads, the rules are few and the variations are endless. Feel free to make this salad with your own favorite nut, fruit and vegetable combination. Just toss it all in a bowl and serve it up! With this salad, your minimal efforts will yield maximum rewards because it lasts for days, and even improves with age, not to mention its uber-healthy nutritional benefits. I have eaten this salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner these past days and here are some of the ways that I have enjoyed it:
For Friday night dinner, we topped grilled lamb burgers with the freshly made tabbouleh and served with a side of balsamic and garlic roasted eggplant and cherry tomatoes.
We spooned it on toast, with tahini, tomato, avocado and a poached egg for a glorious Sunday breakfast. My favorite way to eat tabbouleh is with Israeli hummus, cucumber salad and pita bread so we had this for lunch on Saturday.
Let’s get chopping, the weekend is almost here!
- 2 cups (packed) shredded kale leaves
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup diced yellow tomato
- 1/4 cup pickled sumac red onion*, chopped (see note)
- 1/2 cup pitted, chopped red sour cherries
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine and serve.
- *To make Pickled Sumac Onions: Thinly slice one red onion. Place in a sealable container and add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp ground sumac, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Place lid on container and shake to combine. Save in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.