Tabbouleh is an incredibly fresh Lebanese salad traditionally consisting of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumber and lots of parsley and mint. It sometimes seems like an herb salad with some bulgur thrown in. My version, however, swaps the bulgur for millet, making it compatible with gluten-free diets. I kept the tomatoes, cucumber and herbs (although not quite as much as some recipes call for) but tossed in some chickpeas and feta to make it a full meal.
If you aren’t familiar with millet, read more about it here. Millet can be prepared for salads, per my instructions below, or as a porridge, similar to polenta. However, it is very easy to cross the line from individual grains to a mass of millet. To make sure you don’t end up with porridge, keep these tips in mind: 1) it does not cook evenly – you will be left with some cooked grains while others will be a little toothsome; 2) you need to spread out the cooked millet to cool otherwise the starch from the popped grains will make it impossible to use in a salad.
makes 4-6 servings
- 1-1/2 cups millet
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium cucumber (about 10 ounces), peeled if thick skinned, and cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half if larger than 1/2″
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (from about 3 large scallions)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1-15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, and crumbled feta (optional)
- To cook the millet: first, toast the millet by adding it to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it smells toasty and the grains are starting to brown, about 4-6 minutes. Add the water and salt, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed and around two-thirds of the grains are cooked through, about 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Spread evenly and allow to cool. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, breaking up any clumps of millet.
- Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients and the lemon juice/olive oil mixture to the millet and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.