Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad that’s typically made with bulgur, parsley, mint, tomatoes, onion, and lemon. It’s not one of my favorite salads because I usually find the parsley to be overbearing. But since I had some black rice in the cupboard leftover from this Emperor’s Rice Salad, and some sumac I’d been wanting to try, I decided to give this salad a try for Carroll Cafe. I’m so glad I did! This salad is awesome! I loved all the flavors, and I have to say it really ended up being nothing like tabbouleh. But it’s too exciting of a salad to just call “Middle Eastern Salad,” and black rice doesn’t really fit that name either. So make it and let me know what you’d call it. For now, I’m just going with Black Rice Not-Tabbouleh Salad.
Black rice gives this a slightly nutty taste and makes it a little sweeter than white or brown rice would. It’s a very subtle flavor, and if you don’t have it on hand, I’m sure Israeli couscous or bulgur would be fine substitutions. Sumac has a lemony flavor and adds a very unique taste to this salad, and I look forward to exploring other ways to use this spice. I ended up not adding tomatoes because I didn’t want to water the salad down with their juices, I think this would be fantastic served over cut up tomatoes later this summer.
I’ll definitely be making this salad again. It’s super versatile, and saves well for at least 5 days in the fridge. It’s great for potlucks and grilling season, or packaging up for a long day at school/work.
Black Rice Not-Tabbouleh Salad
Adapted from Taste, Love and Nourish
- 4 cups water
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 2 cups black rice
- 3 lemons, juiced (about 2/3 cup)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp sumac
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 bunches fresh parsley, minced (about 2 cups)
- handful fresh mint, minced (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 large (29oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
In a pot, add water, sea salt, and black rice. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, pepper, sumac, cumin, and olive oil. Pour half of the dressing over the cooked rice and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Toss with the cooled rice. Taste and add more dressing as desired.