Mediterranean Tabbouleh With Millet – Gluten Free

by | Mediterranean, Salads and Veggies

A classic tabbouleh recipe, refreshingly flavored with lots of parsley, herbs, lemon, garlic and tomatoes, made with cooked millet instead of bulgar wheat. 

Millet tabbouleh tapas
Millet Tabbouleh – Tapas

What Is Millet?

A beautiful, mild and slightly sweet flavored gluten free grain, thought of as an ancient grain, has become my favorite alternative grain to rice, in pilafs or stir-fry dishes, and now my favorite alternative to bulgar wheat, the traditional grain used to make tabbouleh. 

Several years ago, when quinoa hit the food trend as an alternative to gluten grains, I just couldn’t get my taste buds around its ‘always’ slightly bitter flavor. Then I discovered the slightly sweet, delicately nutty flavor of millet and never went back to quinoa. 

millet tabbouleh ingredients
Millet Tabbouleh Ingredients

What Is Tabbouleh?

Salad, in my Mediterranean home, was not always made with lettuce! Lots and lots of freshly chopped herbs, particularly flat leaf parsley and mint were the base of the salads we heaped on our plate. Sometimes tomatoes were finely chopped (they were expensive and so finely chopping them made them go far), and cucumbers were added. 

home grown parsley
Home Grown Parsley

What made salads, in my home, different from the salads I had when visiting school-girl friends as a kid? Lots and lots of grain (bulgar wheat), went into our salads, making them a meal and not just a colorful, afterthought to a piece of meat, fish or whatever we were eating. 

Food in my home was always better than anywhere else I ate. Not just because my mom made it, though that is often the reason we treasure the food we grew up with, but because it was so darn healthy and flavorful! I didn’t grow up eating casseroles or greasy fried food.

We always had a huge variety of Mediterranean Food, both sweet and savory, in my home. Dare I say, because of this, I have never struggled with my weight and have never been on a diet. (Don’t hate me. Just started out life with healthy foods). Thanks mom!

Millet Tabbouleh Instead Of Bulgar Wheat

Millet, like so many grains trending these days, is said to be packed with protein, antioxidants (like anyone cares about antioxidants or even what they are :), can possibly lower blood sugar and cholesterol and a bunch of other things. It IS, however, gluten-free and that alone is of more interest to many people. 

Millet for me, has the best… yes I said BEST, flavor of all the grains I cook with! Yep, even better than rice and oats. It is slightly sweet, unlike quinoa which I find bitter. It has a subtle nutty flavor and it cooks fast. For me, these were all reasons to swap out the traditional bulgar wheat tabouleh is known for, with this beautiful millet grain. 

How To Serve Tabbouleh

Since tabbouleh is already packed with fabulous flavor and substance, it can definitely be a meal in itself, especially if using nutritionally rich millet instead of wheat. Grill some chicken or turkey thighs, slice the meat, set the slices in a hot pan with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of Shawarma spices (smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, freshly crushed garlic), place the meat on top a heap of tabbouleh, and you have a great Chicken/Turkey Shawarma salad. 

Grilled Turkey Shwarma over Tabbouleh
Grilled Turkey Shwarma Over Tabbouleh

Want vegetarian? Grab a piece of pita bread, brush a little olive oil on it and pop it on top the stove on a griddle to liven up the bread, stuff it with tabbouleh for a vegetarian Gyro! 

Those who know me, know I am crazy about eating Meze (also known as Tapas, though meze is the Arabic word, as Mezathakia is the Greek word), style meals; lots of small plates with lots of choices. I made a delicious batch of Millet Tabbouleh, had a casual gathering and placed a scoop of tabbouleh on one piece of lettuce, on lots of small (2×4 inch), plates. Those went first!!

Tabbouleh tapas
Tabbouleh Tapas

How To Make Millet Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is easy to make, once the millet is cooked and the herbs are sliced. Often when I make millet, I make a big pot of it and then have some leftover, much like making too much rice. When this happens I always make a batch of tabbouleh, especially in summertime when I have lots of tomatoes, parsley and mint growing.

Tabbouleh ingredients
Tabbouleh Ingredients

Garlic, is my secret ingredient to a great tabbouleh. It is rarely used in most tabbouleh recipes, mostly because bulgar wheat is usually used, which doesn’t get cooked before making the tabbouleh. 

I added freshly crushed garlic to the millet when I cook it. I add another freshly crushed clove of garlic to the lemon/olive oil dressing I use when making tabbouleh and let me tell you, it elevates the flavor of tabbouleh like nothing else does!

Once the millet is cooked, the rest is simply a finely chopped array of herbs. Tomatoes too, if you are adding them, though they are not required in a real tabbouleh mix. Traditionally, tabbouleh is just grain and greens!

Ingredients Needed

  • Hulled millet
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Fresh parsley
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh mint or oregano
  • Olive oil

Equipment Needed

  • Mixing bowl
  • Medium pot with a lid
  • Strainer
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Citrus press
  • Garlic press
  • Stovetop or burner

Mediterranean Tabbouleh With Millet – Gluten Free

Recipe by Robin DaumitCourse: Mediterranean, Salads and VeggiesCuisine: Mediterranean
Servings

8

servings

A classic tabbouleh recipe, refreshingly flavored with lots of parsley, herbs, lemon, garlic and tomatoes, made with cooked millet instead of bulgar wheat. 

Ingredients

  • Hulled Millet grain – 1 cup, uncooked

  • Water – 2 cups

  • Lemon juice – from 1 lemon

  • Garlic – 1 clove, crushed

  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Fresh Parsley – 1 large bunch, leaves and stems, finely chopped

  • Tomatoes – 2 large or 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped small

  • Fresh mint or fresh oregano – 1/4 cup, finely chopped herbs

  • Lemon juice – 3 tablespoons

  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoons

  • Garlic clove – 1 clove, crushed

  • Salt – to taste

Directions

  • In a small bowl, place the millet and rinse several times, squeezing the millet to clean it. Drain off the water.
  • Bring the 2 cups of water, with salt and a pressed garlic clove to a boil. Turn off the heat, pour in the millet, lid on and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Slowly bring the water back to a boil. Lower, with lid on and cook for about 15 minutes or until the millet is light and fluffy. If the water evaporates too quickly, simply add a drizzle of boiled water (from your kettle), to the pot and return the lid to continue cooking.
  • After the millet looks cooked, take the pot off the stove, lid on and allow it to sit for 10 more minutes. Once the millet has cooled, it is ready to make Tabbouleh. The above steps can be done in advance or if you have leftover cooked millet, it is also ready to make a little tabbouleh.
  • In a small bowl or mason jar, place the lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic clove and a pinch of salt. Whisk or shake (lid on), and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the cooked millet, finely chopped parsley, finely chopped herbs and tomatoes. Pour the lemon/oil dressing over the salad and toss well. Taste to see if more salt is needed to your liking.
  • Ready to serve over a bed of lettuce, along side sliced cucumbers, peppers or olives. Or stuff a big scoop of tabbouleh into a quick grilled pita bread for a fabulous healthy sandwich!

Recipe Video

Millet Tabbouleh - Gluten free
Millet Tabbouleh – Gluten-free
 

My Muffin Madness

 

In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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