Introduction: Tabouli Rider Sandwich

You can say tabouli or tabouleh.  A vibrant, bright, fresh parsley salad served in pita bread.  I used to get this for lunch when I worked in Jacksonville, Florida. It seems to be a regional dish derived from many Middle Eastern immigrants to the area.

There are probably thousands of variations of this dish because it is so versatile.  You can just keep adding what you like to the salad and always end up with something that tastes great.

CAUTION: Learning how to cook is great, just do it safely.

Step 1: Simple and Fresh...

For the ingredients you need:

Bunch of parsley, you can use curly or flat leaf

Half a lemon to squeeze for juice

A smushed up or finely chopped garlic clove

good olive oil

A coarse grained starchy product like bulghur wheat or in this case I had some couscous to add.  Come to think of it, leftover cooked rice or brown rice would even work.

chopped red onion or chopped green onions

seasonings like salt and pepper, hot red pepper

Sliced Swiss cheese

Pita bread with pockets, never tried with this with taco shells or large flour tortillas but it might be good

mayo or tahini or hummus to spread on the inside of the pita bread

Additional to add to your taste:

Chopped peppers in various colors

Chopped cucumbers

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped olives

Chopped hard boiled egg

Chopped meats and other cubed cheeses, you might end up with a Cobb salad

Chopped nuts

Bacon bits

Fresh herbs like mint, dill, basil or oregano

other seasonings and spices

Step 2: Go With the Grain...

Prepare your grain or grain-like product. Couscous are actually microbeads of pasta.

They are usually steeped in boiling water or steamed to be cooked.

You can flavor the cooking liquid.

When done, fluff up to separate the grains and put in the fridge to cool down.

Step 3: Chop, Chop, Chop...

Prep the rest of the ingredients to add to a mixing bowl.

Mince the clove of fresh garlic.  You can add more to taste.

Chop up the parsley.  You can roll up a bunch and then start slicing away.
I love fresh parsley and actually like the crunchy texture of finely chopped stems.  You can just use the leafy portions.  Finely chopped parsley stems might cause problems for those with braces though and those that have not finished paying for them. Parsley has a lot of vitamin C.

Finely chop up the red onions or finely slice the green onions.

Throw it all in the mixing bowl.

Step 4: Dressing It Up...

Add the grain to the mixing bowl.

Add your salt and pepper.

Squeeze a half a lemon.  You can add more to taste. Remove any seeds.

Give it a splash of good olive oil.

Use a spoon to gently incorporate and mix all of the ingredients.

Put back in the fridge for an hour to chill and the grain will soak up some of the flavors.

Step 5: Get Around to Serving...

If you are not a pro at opening up pita bread from one end, just cut it in half to make two smaller semi-circle pockets.

Slather on some mayo to coat the inside of the pita bread.  You can also do this with some tahini or hummus.  It creates a barrier for the wet contents of the salad.

Add a slice of swiss cheese.  You can substitute your favorite cheese but something with a sharp bite or flavor plays nice with the tabouli.

Fill the pocket with tabouli.

And there you go, a tabouli rider sandwich.

If you have any tabouli left, pulverize it with a can of garbanzo (chickpeas) beans.  Spoon out in golf-sized balls and deep fry or bake for delicious falafel.  Maybe blend it with more olive oil to get a chimichurri sauce for your steak.  But you know how fried foods turn out at my house...