Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tabbouleh with mint, honeydew melon and prosciutto

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Whether you spell it tabbouleh, tabouleh, tabouli or even tabuli, you will love this light and fruity version!  A staple in the Middle East, tabbouleh is a cold salad often found on meze plates.  Tabbouleh is made with bulgur, a whole grain wheat that has been parboiled, dried, crushed and sorted by size.  It is very high in fiber and protein and a perfect food for those watching their calorie intake - i.e., someone like me! 

I have recently formed a Biggest Loser contest with 16 of my lovely friends with the hopes of shedding the twenty, yes 20, or so pounds that I have gained since starting my blog!  The effect of sitting in front of a computer for hours on end and ingesting more calories than my typing fingers can burn has shown its ugly side.  Yeast dough, chocolate ganache, and the pleasing glass of wine in hand while I cooked will be replaced by healthier options until such time as I win this thingand that bundle of money to be awarded!   (I am normally not very competitive but I seem to be showing my ugly side so let’s get back to tabbouleh…after all, this is a food blog and I have a job to do!)

With temperatures well into the 90’s here in Texas, tabbouleh is the perfect summer salad because stovetop heat is not needed to cook it.   It rehydrates and softens within 30 minutes with the simple addition of cold water.   Available in most grocery stores, bulgur comes in different sizes and ‘fine’ (#1) bulgur is the choice for tabbouleh

My garden is about to be overtaken by mint and I have been thinking of ways to use it in the kitchen.  Here it replaces parsley, the traditional herb of choice in tabbouleh.  I have never been a fan of cucumbers so they’ve been tossed for flavorful honeydew melon…and since melon and prosciutto go hand-in-hand I guarantee that you will love a few thin slices with the salad.

You may be questioning my choice of honeydew melon over one with less sugar (cantaloupe).   A girl’s got to get her vitamins and honeydew melon is very high in vitamin C and potassium.  Surprisingly, it’s high water content results in only 60 calories per cup!

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Tabbouleh with mint, honeydew melon and prosciutto

Adapted from Gourmet, July 2006.  Original recipe by Melissa Roberts-Matar

1 cup cold water
¾ cup fine bulgur (5 oz)
1½ cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1½ cups diced firm, ripe honeydew melon
½ cup finely chopped red onion
½ teaspoon salt

¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto

Pour water over bulgur in a bowl.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain in a sieve if there is water at the bottom of the bowl.

Place mint, oil and lime or lemon juice in a blender or food processor.  Blend until the mint is finely chopped but still has some distinguishable pieces.

Toss bulgur with mint mixture, honeydew, onion, and salt.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Serve with prosciutto.  Serves 4.

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  1. MMMmmmmmmmm...I could eat a nice plate of that right this minute!

  2. I hear you, Dragana. One of the sad results of all the cooking for my blog is a few unwanted pounds. And lovely, healthy salads are a way to take care of the problem. I've never used melon in a tabbouleh salad. It looks delish.

  3. Mmmmm, now you're talking. That was a delicious, healthy and satisfying salad.
    Don't forget how competative your little sister is. Biggest loser - It's on!!

  4. I am determined to try a new salad at least twice a week. Summer is here, and my Husband's daughter, who is living with us at the time is a vegetarian - this fits the profile beautifully (it also includes the mint, which is growing like crazy in a big pot!)
    Thanks Dragana,
    P.S. I have not tried Swedka vodka yet, but I am willing to try it.I like Stoli(my Slavic soul is drawn to it somehow!), Husband likes Grey Goose, and my oldest daughter brought us some "Ruski Standard" from Russia last year - I'll have to organize a vodka tasting!
    And yes, I'll be watching THE GAME tomorrow!

  5. Ova receta je 100% puna vitamina nema sumnje...Treba da probam...


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