Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Slow Roasted, Tabbouleh Filled Tomatoes

As I sit here typing away, I am still digesting the goodness that I am about to share. In my blog reading and recipe browsing, I came across this idea and why I hadn't thought of this before, only the food Gods know.

Tabbouleh (pronounced Ta-boo-lee) has been a favorite dish of mine since my mom started making it and packing it in our lunches years and years ago. Tabo-what!? I love telling others what I am making and seeing the confused looks on their faces when they have no clue what it is as well as have no clue how to pronounce the colorful name. Tabouleh is a Middle-Eastern salad made of bulgur wheat, parsley, mint and finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and scallions. Bulgur is rich in fiber and even packs some protein! Tabbouleh has just about the freshest flavor imaginable as all of the ingredients are bound together by a drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I have made a few batches of this Middle-Eastern treat for MM and he loves it as much as I do! Well, tonight I decided to try a new twist on the way I served it. Lately, I have fallen in love with slow roasting tomatoes. After drizzling with a little olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper, something so simple becomes so much more. I recently came across the brilliant idea of slow roasting vine ripened tomatoes and stuffing them. Princess Jasmine's fare immediately came to mind and there was the inspiration behind tonight's accompaniment to citrus cilantro yogurt marinated chicken breast.

recipe adapted from several sources

1/2 cup Bulgur wheat
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
Juice of one lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 drizzles around the bowl)
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 vine ripened tomatoes, centers cut out

Cook bulgur according to the directions on the package. Look hard at the grocery store but chances are, your store will have it tucked away. The bulgur will have to sit, covered for up to 30 minutes so while it is sitting, cut up all of your vegetables and herbs. When cutting your parsley and mint, chop it as fine as possible. This will fluff up the final product. Once the bulgur has absorbed all of the water, fluff with a fork and add in all of the fresh ingredients. Drizzle with olive oil, add the juice of one lemon, salt & pepper then mix together. Refrigerate before serving. This can be made in advance and in fact, is better the next day when the flavors have had time to get to know each other and live happily ever after.

Slow roasted tomatoes:
Drizzle the prepared vine ripened tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a 250 degree oven for 45 minutes. Serve tabouleh inside.

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