Friday, July 26, 2013

Lebanese tabbouleh salad

 Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern appetizer spread made with bulgur wheat that is scooped up or wrapped in a lettuce leaf. An authentic tabbouleh salad would have way more mint and parsley than I show here, and the tomatoes and cucumbers would be cut into smaller pieces. This is an Americanized version. Cut your veggies however you wish, but don't skimp on the lemon and olive oil because those flavors are so zesty and fresh. Occasionally I'll add in some feta cheese too. (photo, Diane Carnevale)

1 cup bulgur (cracked) wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 tsp salt

 + + +
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 
1 cup or so of halved grape tomatoes or diced plum tomatoes
1 English or Persian cucumber, unpeeled, chopped or diced
Juice of 1 large lemon (or more!)
1/4 cup olive oil
dash of cinnamon and all spice
dash of allspice
1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
1/2 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1/4 cup diced purple onion (optional, I like the color and crunch)
Feta cheese (optional, but if you use is then don't add any extra salt)
salt and pepper to taste

Place the bulgur in a large bowl, pour in boiling water, along with 1 tsp of salt. Stir, then cover and let it sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes. Water should be all absorbed by now, but drain off any excess if there is some. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Let sit for an hour before serving.

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