Millet Tabouli with Roasted Red Pepper and Olives (gluten free, vegan, tomato free, lemon free)

Tabouli has always been one of my favorite foods. Back in the day, I loved making it traditional-style with bulgar, or sometimes used cous cous. When I discovered quinoa, I started making it with that, and when millet entered the picture, I started using millet. I always loved the light bright flavor, the crunch of cucumber, the juicy chunks of tomato, and the acidic bit of fresh lemon. These days, however, my tabouli is a little different - it turns out I'm allergic to tomato and lemon, two quintessential ingredients in any classic tabouli. So, I've made adjustments to my formula, and often substitute red pepper for tomato, and use dissolved vitamin C crystals for the acidic bite instead of lemon. Is it the same tabouli I used to make and love? No. But I'm not the same either. We all change, and so has my tabouli! I made this version of tabouli for my friend Lauren's bridal shower yesterday, and thought I'd share it with you. I threw in a few Moroccan oil-cured olives, roasted red pepper, and roasted garlic. The rich, nutty flavor of the roasted garlic added a nice twist, and the saltiness of the olives was balanced by the bright crunch of cucumber and the lightness of the mint. It was a hit at the party, and everyone loved it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
MILLET TABOULI/TABBOULEH WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER AND OLIVES (gluten free, vegan, tomato free, lemon free)
1 c dry millet, soaked 6-8 hours in water
1 c packed chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c packed chopped fresh mint
1 cucumber, finely chopped (about 2 c)
2 roasted red peppers, finely sliced (about 1/2 cup) or 1 raw red pepper, chopped
6 scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped
5 roasted garlic cloves, finely chopped or 1-2 raw cloves, minced
1/2 c oil-cured black olives, pitted and sliced
2 tsp vitamin C crystals dissolved in 2 T water
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  1. Soak millet in water for 6-8 hours. Rinse well, drain, and place millet in a large saucepan. Turn heat to medium-high and toast grains, stirring frequently, until they start to smell nutty. Add 3 1/4 c water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Millet grains should be soft, but still seperate - you want it fluffy, like couscous. Turn off heat, put cover back on, and let steam for another 15 minutes. Remove cover, fluff millet, and then let cool completely (I like to spread it out in a large cake pan to cool quickly).
  2. Prepare vegetables. Wash and chop parsley, mint, cucumber, and scallions. Slice roasted red peppers and roasted garlic cloves, and pit and slice olives.
  3. Place cooled millet in a large bowl, and break apart until grains are separated and fluffy. Add vegetables, olives, and herbs, and stir a few times. Add olive oil and dissolved vitamin C crystal water, and stir until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately, or for best flavor, place in refrigerator and let sit for a few hours or as long as 1 day.

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