Gluten-Free Rice Tabbouleh

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Accompanied with sweet lettuce leaves – this herby citrusy salad is a perfect way to embrace the summer months.

Tabbouleh is the quintessential Middle Eastern salad of parsley and burgul dressed brightly with lemon and olive oil. Perfect for summer since it is fresh, light, green and fragrant with herbs, and yet, satisfying because of the bulgur. Paired with grilled fish, chicken, or hummus, it is the perfect side dish for a simple, healthy, but filling meal.

Instead of bulgur, this recipe calls for rice, which may be a revelation to tabbouleh lovers. This versions is tangy, equally as fresh, and a little lighter on the stomach than the bulgar-based tabbouleh.

Tabbouleh is quite simple and traditionally prepared with parsley, bulgur, cucumber, and sometimes a little green onion or mint. It is often served on a bed of crunchy lettuce leaves, or even as a lettuce wrap.

Ingredients:
Rice Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked basmati rice, soaked and rinsed
1 ¾ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Salad Ingredients:
2 bunches parsley, finely minced
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 small cucumbers or half an English cucumber, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
3 lemons, squeezed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

To prepared rice:
(Rice should be soaked for a minimum of half an hour and a maximum of 8 hours before cooking. Then rinse until water runs clear, and drain. If you skip this step, extend cooking time to 15-20 minutes.)

In a small pot, pour drained rice and water. Season with salt and olive oil.
Over medium –high heat, bring to a boil, then cover and lower temperature to very low. Cook for 10—12 minutes, until the rice is tender, but not too soft, and the water has disappeared.
Cover the pot, and let the rice sit for ten minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Refrigerate rice until cool.

To prepare salad:
(1) Wash vegetables and dry thoroughly.
(2) Finely chop the parsley with a sharp knife, removing any many stems as possible, and place in a large bowl
(3) Finely dice tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions, and stir into the parsley. Place into a large bowl.
(4) Retrieve your cooled rice and make sure that the grains are fluffy and separated. Stir the rice again with a fork. Add rice to the bowl and mix with the ingredients from step (3).
(5) Dress the salad with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Add salt, if you are serving immediately. Adjust seasoning to taste.
(6) Serve or refrigerate. If unsalted, tabbouleh will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two. If you wish to keep it fresh longer, wait to dress the salad until serving.