Northern Africa, may it be Morocco, Jordan or Egypt… Imagine being in a souk, a lively marketplace, full of colors and spices like turmeric, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon… People drinking tea with lots of sugar and peppermint for refreshment, trying to beat the heat. In the air the beautiful scent of Jasmin and Sandalwood…
A staple of the Eastern Mediterranean kitchen and best homemade is
The famous salad usually served with mezze, a selection of appetizers like the Italian antipasti or the Spanish tapas, often consists of hummus, baba-ganouj and of course of tabbouleh.
If you substitute the classical bulgur with hemp seeds, you will have the perfect gluten-free salad, on a hot day loaded with vitamins and an extra portion of protein from the hemp seeds.
If you want to go further why not serve orange slices with dates and walnuts as a dessert. You can also experiment with pomegranate seeds and pistachios added on top of orange slices, spiced up with some lemon juice as a salad, accompanying a main course.
Looking for some nice music to enjoy on your culinary journey? Buddha Bar offers a great selection of compilations, my actual favorite is Nicos/Mediterranean.
But back to our recipe:
For about 4 servings of this gluten and dairy-free tabbouleh recipe you will need:
· 2 bundles of fresh flat parsley, finely chopped
· ½ bundle of fresh mint, finely chopped
· 20 cocktail tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
· 1/3 cup of lemon juice
· ¼ cup of olive oil
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 4 tablespoons hemp hearts
1. Mix all ingredients together except the hemp hearts
2. Let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes
3. Add the hemp hearts, right before serving
4. Decorate with a sprig of parsley and a halved cocktail tomato
Parsley is rich in antioxidants like carotenoids especially in Vitamin A (important for your eyesight), Vitamin C (supports immunity), and Vitamin K (supports bone health).
Mint is a good source of manganese, copper, and Vitamin C. It may also calm the digestive tract.
Unless you are allergic to vegetables of the nightshade family, tomatoes are a powerhouse of antioxidants. They contain Lycopene, a carotenoid which helps to protect from heart disease and cancer.
Lemon contains a high amount of Vitamin C and helps to alkalinize the body.
Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, a mono-unsaturated fat which supports heart health.