Tabbouleh is the kind of salad that makes me think of spring; tomatoes, cucumber, fresh herbs. Saturday was the first beautiful day since the ground was covered in snow and I thought this dish would well suit the sunshine. I was right. The veggies are crisp and refreshing. The dressing is tangy with lemon zest and lemon juice and the bulgur gives the salad a nice al dente texture. It’s fresh and bright and was surprisingly easy to make. I did read some of the recipe reviews on the Food Network site and some crazy people were up in arms that it isn’t true to the original Lebanese dish. Guess what people? I don’t care. If you expect Rachael Ray to be turning out traditional cultural food in 30 minutes, you’re crazy. Go eat at Grandma’s house. But this salad tastes great and it’s entirely more nutritionally balanced than a side order of French fries.
To go along with the salad, Rachael made these amazing lamb burgers. Lamb really isn’t my thing. It’s usually gamey and tough with lots of fatty pieces that require you to turn your dinner plate into a carving station so you don’t get a mouth full of animal fat. Gross! My mom always made lamb on Easter and I was the bratty kid who threw a fit and made my poor mother make me something different. Once difficult, always difficult! But, I’ve never had ground lamb before and I wanted to give it a try. We found this adorable German butcher in our neighborhood with men named Fritz and Hans wearing little white paper hats serving up wursts and kraut behind the counter. Some supermarkets sell ground lamb, but ours didn’t have it. Fritz saved the day.
I loved the texture of these burgers. They were nice and juicy without being greasy or fatty. The patties were very soft in the middle but had a nice crust from searing the outside. The spice combination was really interesting. It reminded me of some Moroccan food I’ve tried. You top the burgers with shredded raw red cabbage and red onion. This added the perfect amount of bitterness and crunch. Instead of ketchup (snooze!) you whip up a “tsatziki-like” Greek yogurt sauce. The whole package is served inside a toasted pita. I’m definitely going to use this trick for other burgers. I try to limit my carb intake and I also find that some burgers just have too much bread. I end up pulling the top of the bun completely off. The thin pita was the perfect wrapper for the meal. I did substitute fat-free greek yogurt and 100% whole wheat pita for a health boost. Otherwise, I made the dish as-is.
Open up your windows, let in some fresh air and enjoy spring!