Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tabbouleh (Bulgar Wheat Salad with Parsley, Tomatoes, Cucumber and Onion, with Olive Oil & Lemon Juice)

This Middle Eastern dish, often served as a salad or a small plate (mezze)has a number of regional variations but is traditionally made with bulgur wheat, chopped flat-leaf parsley, tomatoes, onion, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Tabbouleh has become quite popular here in the U.S. - heck, you can buy this at Trader Joe's, Costco, and from the deli section of many a supermarket. But, nothing beats the taste of homemade which is, of course, fresher and lighter, i.e., not drenched in olive oil like the typical store-bought variety. I adapted this recipe from James Beard award winner Michael Solomonov's recipe for traditional tabbouleh in his cookbook Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. The ingredients are super simple and super fresh - instead of regular bulgur, I used red bulgur and also added a little bit of ground cumin along with extra lemon juice. Mint is not in the original recipe, but makes a nice addition. Healthy, tasty, and deeeelicious!

1 cup bulgur wheat*
4 cups Italian or flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (optional)
3 scallions, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 medium hothouse or English cucumber, seeded and diced
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tbsp. olive oil

*I use Red Bulgur Wheat (Bob's Red Mill brand). Combine the red bulgur with 2 cups of boiling water and let sit for 1 hour. Squeeze out or drain excess water before using.

1. Cook/soften the bulgur wheat according to package instructions; drain, squeeze out excess moisture, and place into a medium bowl.

2. Combine the bulgur with all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use (keeps fine in the frig for 3-4 days). Best to serve at room temperature. 

Cook the bulgur wheat. 

 Drain the bulgur.

Scoop out the seeds from the cucumber with a spoon. 

Diced cucumber & tomato, chopped parsley, mint, lemon wedges, chopped red onion 
and scallions. 

 Toss all the veggies together in a bowl.

Toss in the bulgur wheat and remaining ingredients. Season to taste.  

Plate and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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