Tabbouleh Tacos with Tahini-Garlic Dressing / by Alexa Arnold

When Grayson and I moved across the country to Brooklyn, we downsized our belongings quite significantly. We pulled up to the front of our apartment building on a snowy day a couple of Decembers ago with a truck filled only with a bed, a few boxes of books, some prized kitchen supplies, a handful of beloved pieces of artwork, cherished heirlooms from our families, clothes, and a jade plant that I was unwilling to leave behind. It was so freeing to say goodbye to material belongings, and the prospect of filling our new home with apartment-sized pieces we could choose together, as a newly married couple, was exciting. There was also something calming about starting our new adventure with a clean slate, free of the furniture we'd owned since our college days.

We've taken our time with decorating and filling our space. We learned relatively quickly that living in a 1-bedroom apartment meant we'd have to get creative and make sacrifices. Our living room became Grayson's home office, a place to watch a movie, and an extra bedroom to host stay-over guests. It's also the place where we've eaten all of our meals for the past year and a half, on the couch, with tiny plates held in our laps. Since the kitchen is connected to the living room, we decided to wait on buying a larger table. We bought a little island to maximize counter space, and considered eventually purchasing some stools to set beside it. But the space just felt too small to add any more furniture to, so we made do with dinners on the couch. We eventually invested in a little coffee table, and while plopping down on the floor to share a meal together was working for a while, I continued to dream of owning a real dining table. A place where we could set out the silverware I'd inherited from my grandma, where we could host friends for dinner, and keep the food out of reach from our curious pup. A place to set out candles, and share a meal and conversation while facing one another. 

After months of dreaming and researching, we splurged. We bought a table. It's high enough to slide a couple of stools under, wide enough to serve a dual purpose as a work space, and long enough to squeeze hungry friends around. It's taken some getting used to, but somehow, even though it's 8 inches longer than the little island we kept in the same spot, it's made our kitchen space feel even bigger and airier. 

Now, about these tacos. I've been on a huge taco kick lately; there's just something so simple and effortless about piling a bunch of delicious ingredients into the bed of a tortilla. Plus, prepping tacos can take nearly no time at all, which is a huge perk for a gal who often arrives home from work with low blood sugar, in a panic to whip up something quick. As it's been with most of my dishes lately, this meal was inspired by the contents of my CSA: parsley, cucumbers, leeks and garlic scapes. I made a quick trip to the market to supplement and couldn't resist the fresh corn and heirloom cherry tomatoes. Top it off with a healthy addiction to Mediterranean cuisine, and these tacos were born. The tabbouleh salad could truly stand on its own – it's crunchy and sweet, and fresh parsley and mint add a great punch of flavor – but I piled it all in a tortilla with some creamy dressing because, why not? 

Tabbouleh Tacos with Tahini-Garlic Dressing

Makes 10 tacos. 

Ingredients:
For the tacos:
> 10 small tortillas (I prefer flour, but corn would do too!)
> 2 cups parsley, chopped
> 3/4 cup mint, chopped
> 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
> 1 cup cooked wheat berries (traditionally, tabbouleh calls for bulgar)
> 1 cup cucumber, cored and sliced into small pieces
> 2 cups corn
> 1 cup black beans
> 1/2 cup feta
> Juice of one lemon
> Pinch of salt and pepper
For the dressing:
> Juice of one lemon
> 1 tablespoon tahini paste
> 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
> 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped (I used garlic scapes)
> 1 tablespoon leeks, finely chopped
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> Pinch of salt and pepper

Preparation:
1. Make the tabbouleh salad: Add parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes, lemon juice and wheat berries to a bowl and mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
2. Prepare the dressing: Add all ingredients to a small jar and mix together. 
3. Assemble the tacos: Add a spoonful each of black beans and corn to each tortilla. Add a small scoop of tabbouleh salad and a sprinkle of feta. Generously drizzle the dressing on top.