Tabouli without the Wheat

Not really tabouli at all, then, is it? More of a middle eastern type salad, this combination of fresh summer veggies tossed with freshly chopped herbs makes a very light accompaniment for roasted chicken or grilled fish. We happened to have all of the ingredients on hand when I was thumbing through yet another gorgeous cookbook from the library: Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson.

Nigella is a woman after my own heart. (That IS an actual saying, right? I am notoriously bad at remembering sayings.) She is also the brilliant author of some of the most scrumptious recipes ever created. I'm not sure you could label her cooking-style "healthy" because decadent is really more like it. But she uses tons of fresh, seasonal ingredients in this volume, emphasizing the bright flavors of summer. Therefore, most of these dishes are lighter than her typical comfort food.

If you love tabouli, you will definitely enjoy this lighter version which leaves out the grains altogether. What you are left with is a crunchy, juicy, herby chopped salad. Perfect for those of you who are gluten-intolerant or going Paleo this summer. You might serve it as a chunky-style salsa or on top of lettuce or arugula as a full salad. You could toss in some cold chicken or tuna for a quick and hearty lunch on the go. Or maybe some kalamata olives and feta for a Greek salad. The possibilities are numerous.

I did take a few liberties with the recipe, as usual.


1 large, ripe tomato, chopped
2 small cucumbers, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 chive blossoms, chopped
2 garlic scapes (or garlic cloves) thinly sliced (scapes are garlic stems which produce flowers)
1 small handful mint leaves, chopped
1 small handful parsley, chopped
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with chicken or fish. Makes 2 large servings.