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Katherine's Weekly Market Recipe: Tabouleh with Chick Peas, Seasonal Vegetables and Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

This recipe is always a huge hit. There are many potential variations: Try using Quinoa instead of Bulgur or Soy Beans instead of Chick Peas. Use Tarragon in place of basil. Every vegetable in the recipe - the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, sweet onions, garlic, and basil - can be found at the local Farmers Markets at Rose Park on Wednesday or Dupont Circle on Sunday. The possibilities are endless! This is a naturally vegan recipe. But for the meat lovers, it's great with grilled chicken or seafood on the side

Today is the second of "Katherine's Weekly Market Recipes," in The Georgetown Dish, all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, family-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local Farmers Markets this week. At your Farmers Market, you'll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture and nutrition. You're also helping save the environment when you buy at your Farmers Market. Here's how...

Tabouleh with Chick Peas, Seasonal Vegetables and a Lemon Garlic VinaigretteBy Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D. Makes about 6 - 300 calorie servingsTime: 20 – 30 minutes 1 Cup Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)1 15-ounce Can Chick Peas, drained1 Large cucumber, skinned and seeded, chopped1 Large Yellow Pepper, seeded, chopped1 Sweet Onion, chopped finely1 pint sliced Cherry Tomatoes or Chopped Heirloom Tomatoes1 Large Handful Fresh Basil, choppedOptional:¼ cup golden raisins¼ cup roasted pine nuts Vinaigrette:Juice of One Lemon (2 Tbsp) and its lemon zest2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 crushed Garlic CloveKosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper In a large glass bowl, pour 3 cups boiling water over the bulgur and let sit for 15 minutes or longer. While the bulgur is fluffing up, make the salad: In a large glass or plastic bowl, dump in the chick peas, the chopped cucumber, pepper, onion, tomatoes, basil, raisins and pine nuts. Make the vinaigrette in a separate small bowl: roll the lemon on the counter and place in microwave for 30 seconds (this procedure extracts the maximum juice). Let cool. With a microplane, zest the lemon being careful not to use the bitter white pith. Squeeze the lemon juice and place with zest in the small bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Drain the bulgur and add to salad. Toss in the vinaigrette. Chill and serve, or serve immediately. Note: This recipe can be made ahead of time and will keep nicely in the refrigerator for a week. If you decide to make this as a "batch," for you or your family, a cooking technique I recommend in my book, Diet Simple, and which makes eating healthy a pleasure, I recommend leaving the tomatoes out of the recipe until it is served. To me, refrigeration ruins tomatoes!