Cooking with Zahav this month has been an absolute pleasure. It’s really a style of cooking that appeals to the healthy side of me. So many fresh, vegetarian dishes, using the produce that we’re seeing in the markets, both now at the farmers markets, and those veggies that are just always available year round. And taking those veggies and hitting them with the spices and herbs peculiar to the Middle East makes them much more festive and memorable.
This take on tabbouleh is just fantastic. And really, it is a year round dish. This would work equally well in December as it did right now in June. All of the ingredients are readily available all through out the year, in any venue. The only ingredient you may find a tad more challenging is the sumac. This spice comes from the red berries off a bush native to the Middle East. The red berries are dried and ground into a powder. It has a tangy, sour lemon flavour. I hope you can find it and add it to your spice cabinet. If it seems impossible to find it where you live, lemon zest is a worthy substitute.
I made this recipe with the goal of it lasting a few days in the fridge, and just adding the dressing as I needed it. I wanted to be able to pack up a portion and take it with me as I left the house for the day. I wasn’t disappointed. The ingredients held up well and maintained their respective textures and crunch. The only thing I did do was sprinkle some lemon juice over the salad portion to keep the apples from discolouring. The rest of the liquids I added to the sumac seasoned red onions, so that they could marinate together for the dressing.
In the end, the pomegranate jewels added colour and crunch, the kale was the perfect crisp backdrop, the walnuts were the ‘bulgur’ of the salad, and the crunchy apple just added joy! The dressing was a wonderful balance of tart and calm from the olive oil. The red onion ‘softened’ in the vinegar and olive oil so that it didn’t have that ‘bite’ that can come with raw onion.
A fabulous tabbouleh alternative. Thanks Zahav!
Kale, Walnut, Apple and Sumac Onion Tabbouleh
A great riff on traditional tabbouleh, using kale instead of parsley, and walnuts instead of bulgur. The crunch of the apple and the tang of the onions make this a flavourful salad side. Or even a main dish.
- 1 large red onion finely diced or sliced
- 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tsp ground sumac
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups shredded kale
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apple about 1/2 of an apple
- 1/4 cup pickled sumac onions
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds plus more for garnish
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
Sumac Pickled Onions:
In a small bowl, toss the onions with the red wine vinegar, sumac and salt. Let the onions macerate for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Make ahead: The pickled onions can be made, covered and chilled for up to 3 days. You will only need 1/4 cup of these onions for the Tabbouleh. Save the rest for grilled meats, on sandwiches etc.
In a separate large bowl, combine all of the tabbouleh ingredients and toss.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Sprinkle with more pomegranate seeds and serve.
You will only require 1/4 cup of these onions for the dressing for the tabbouleh. Save the rest of the onions for adding to sandwiches, grilled meats etc.
I actually add the lemon juice, olive oil and extra salt (to taste) from the Tabbouleh ingredients, to the 1/4 cup of onions needed for the tabbouleh after the macerating is complete. I treat this as the entire dressing. It can keep this way in a small jar till needed.
This way it will not wilt the salad if you want it to last for a few days.
Obviously if you are serving it all at once, then don't worry about creating a dressing!
This will feed 4 to 6 people depending on whether it is a side, or the only side. If it is a meal, as how I treated it, definitely only go with 4 people.