Growing up, I never much cared for tabbouleh. I really only had it a couple of times and I distinctly remember the sharp flavors and parsley (which I though was only used as a garnish) getting caught in my teeth. Of course, it's entirely possible the tabbouleh I was eating wasn't the greatest. Phoenix wasn't exactly known as a mecca of middle eastern cuisine back in the 80s and 90s.
M, on the other hand, loved it as a kid. His mom, who is a wonderful cook, used to make it in the summer with scallops. When I asked for his input on my 30 Things to Make While I'm 30, he wanted to include tabbouleh. I was a little nervous because I wasn't even sure what it was supposed to taste like. Plus, how do I compete with one of his favorites from mom?
Luckily, this recipe hit the nail right on the head. M loved it and was so excited to see I'd made it for him. It's full of flavor and packed with healthy and economical ingredients. I can say I now like tabbouleh. What I like best, though, is knowing such a simple recipe makes my future husband so happy.
adapted from www.williams-sonoma.com
3/4 c. medium-fine bulgur
1 c. water
3/4 c. fresh lemon juice, divided
scant 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
8 green onions, including tender green portions, diced
1 c. chopped fresh curly parsley
1/3 c. chopped fresh mint
4 large, ripe tomatoes, diced
1 English cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and diced
2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving
1. Place bulgur in the bottom of a large heat-proof bowl. Bring water and 1/2 c. lemon juice to a boil. Pour over bulgur. Cover tightly and allow to sit 30 minutes. Uncover and drain any excess liquid, pressing bulgur lightly, if necessary.
2. Toss bulgur with olive oil and garlic.
3. On top of the bulgur, layer the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Sprinkle 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper on top. Cover tightly. The mixture may sit out for up to six hours before serving. If preparing in advance, place bowl in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.
4. To serve, toss all ingredients with remaining lemon juice and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Scoop with lettuce or pita bread, if desired. Serves 4-6.
two years ago: oil-cured olives baked with white wine and garlic