Carrot Top Tabouleh Salad
FOR A LIGHT AND REFRESHING SPRING OR SUMMER LUNCH, FILLED WITH NUTRITIOUS VEGGIES, HERBS, AND SEEDS, JUST GET CHOPPING!
by Meghan Rodgers
April 14, 2021
Maybe you spell it tabbouleh. Maybe you spell it tabouli. Or maybe you’ve never heard of it, and you’re about to fall in love with this super healthy, flavorful vegan salad for the very first time.
Tabbouleh (pronounced tə-ˈbü-lē), is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. The traditional recipe is made with bulgur wheat (a grain), loads of parsley, mint, lemon, and often cucumber and tomato all chopped up and drizzled with olive oil. Tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, and in recent years, it's made the leap to many restaurants in the United States, as more and more diners look for satisfying, filling creative plant-based menu items.
With so many counties adopting the dish, there are countless variations out there. (I've yet to find one I didn't love.) Coming off of Easter week, my fridge was overflowing with carrots, so in keeping with the spirit of zero food waste, I decided to substitute what I already had on-hand — tasty carrot tops — for the traditional parsley.
What do carrot tops taste like?
Carrot tops taste like parsley but a bit milder. The two are very similar in texture, so most people will barely even notice your clever Earth-saving swap.
Carrot tops are loaded with vitamins, minerals and a hefty dose of potassium. If you find your carrot tops are a bit bitter, try blanching them for just one minute before transferring them to an ice bath.
Also, try this delicious Carrot Top Pesto.
In the traditional tabbouleh recipe, burger wheat doesn't have to be cooked, so if it's summertime and you want to keep this as a true no-heat dinner, consider sticking with bulgur. If you have quinoa on hand instead and don't mind the added step, quinoa works wonderfully. Quinoa is also a great gluten-free substitute for bulgur. Cauliflower rice can also serve as a substitute for an entirely veggie-based dish.
And feel free to add whatever you have leftover in your fridge. Tabbouleh salad is a great way to use up mismatched leftovers in your fridge. Try it with parsley, pecans, chickpeas, scallions, mushrooms, zucchini — or whatever you have leftover from your CSA. Even peaches will add a delicious, unexpected pop of flavor.
1 cup quinoa (cooked)
Tops of 4-5 carrots, finely chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, cucumber, tomato, carrot tops, carrots, and mint. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Toss well.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: Carrot Top Tabouleh will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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