As winter lingers, here in the Northeast, and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow predicting 6 more weeks of winter, I’m ready to move on. I’m done wearing boots all the time and I’m done eating soup more often than not. Even with some really good varieties like creamy vegan broccoli, cauliflower red lentil and minestrone, I still crave a good salad. Summer tabbouleh is one of my favorites, but not so much when the tomatoes have had to be refrigerator trucked in. I transformed it into Winter Tabbouleh for my Thanksgiving Classes this year, and everyone loved it. It’s so delicious, I’ve been making a batch at least once a week for several months now and my interest isn’t waning. Impressive. I taught this in a class last week to rave reviews and I realized I still hadn’t shared the recipe for Winter Tabbouleh with all of you. Really?
If you’re doing whole30 or trying to cut back on grains, using riced cauliflower or broccoli in place of some or all of the grains is a great idea. Simple swaps enable me to enjoy some of my favorite recipes , while not compromising on my health goals. The texture of the riced veggies mimics that of rice, couscous or bulgur wheat enabling me to add in nutrition and not sacrifice taste.
This recipe for winter tabbouleh is flexible. If you can’t find fresh pomegranates or seeds, you can substitute unsulfured golden raisins…or if you wanted that punch of color, use unsweetened and unsulfured dried cranberries or cherries. Personally, I prefer the pomegranate seeds because they don’t have all the sugar of dried fruit, plus I love their texture. If tree nuts are an issue, you can sub sunflower seeds for the pistachios or something else crunchy like diced celery. Use my recipe as a starting point and make this salad yours!
I became a bit obsessed with sumac last summer when I was making this nectarine salad on the regular. I can’t wait for nectarines to be back in season, but in the meantime, I’ll continue crushing on this winter tabbouleh which really isn’t a sacrifice at all. Sumac is a reddish-purple powder used as a spice in Middle Eastern Cuisine to add a tart, lemony taste to salads or meat. I love the way the tartness of the sumac evokes summer without having to use summer produce when it’s not in season. If you don’t have any sumac, add a bit more lemon zest and/or lemon juice to produce that tang.
I’m not a big believer in the Ground Hog Day tradition, but (spoiler alert) the weather forecast doesn’t look like it’s moderating any time soon—and I am a believer of eating in season as much as possible. Time to expand the winter repertoire, and add this delicious winter tabbouleh into the rotation…..it’s full of fall and winter ingredients with just a touch of spring hinted at to bring hope that warmer days will be heading our way.