Lately I have been posting common side recipes that can be paired with roast dishes and hearty meats. Today I decided it's time we spice things up a bit (we are after-all in the middle of January) and instead of making a normal, classic side I suggest we make an exotic, fresh tabbouleh. Tabbouleh (pronounced tub-boo-lei) is an Arab salad made of cracked wheat combined with finely chopped vegetables such as tomatoes, parsley, or onion. Neither rice nor pasta, tabbouleh, with its tiny grains, is an excellent make ahead side that only betters the longer the flavors meld. It's incredibly simple to make and is best described as being a close cousin to couscous. To take a stab at making tabbouleh,
1 cup bulghur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well.
- Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate.
- The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.