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ruby fennel tabbouleh

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup burghul #1 *
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup minced red tomato, with juices saved
  • 1 small bulb of fennel **
  • 1/4 cup minced fennel fronds ***
  • 1 packed cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small or 1/2 of 1 large grapefruit, supremed
  • Extra fennel fronds and pomegranate seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine the burghul #1 with 1/3 cup lemon juice and diced minced tomatoes with their juices. Let this sit for 30 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Slice the fennel bulb into scoops by carefully severing each layer from the root and then cutting it into a few large triangular pieces from root to tip.
  3. Add the fennel fronds, parsley, red onion, pomegranate seeds, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to the soaking burghul.
  4. Combine, taste, and adjust the seasoning to taste (additional oil, lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper).
  5. Place the tabbouleh in a serving dish and place the grapefruit supremes all the way around the border.
  6. Garnish with more fennel fronds and pomegranate seeds, and serve the tabbouleh bowl alongside a plate of fennel scoops, or set the bowl on a plate and arrange the fennel petals around the bowl (see photos).

Notes

* Burghul #1 is pre-cooked and very fine, so it doesn’t need the extra step of being cooked in boiling water. You can find burghul #1/fine bulgur at most Middle Eastern grocers. If you can’t find a source near you, you can substitute couscous, cracked wheat, or coarse bulgur. However, these will need to be cooked in boiling water, according to the package instructions (or until al dente), rinsed, and then soaked with the tomatoes and lemon juice for about ten minutes.

** The fennel scoops can be used to serve the tabbouleh as an hors d’oeuvre at a party (like chips and dip). If your’e serving it as an hors d’oeuvre, instead of as part of dinner, you should buy a large fennel bulb (people tend to use more scoops for hors d’oeuvres than they do for dinner).

*** To buy fennel fronds, simply find a fennel bulb with some fronds attached to the top. If you can’t find one with fronds, just buy a larger bulb and mix in 1/4 cup of finely minced fennel bulb, and garnish with a little reserved parsley.