It’s tomato season and tabbouleh is a perfect summer salad to put them to use. Tabbouleh is also a vehicle for many other ingredients that are currently in season, including cucumbers, garlic, and onions. Tabbouleh, made with bulgur wheat, is the perfect nutritious whole grain to soak up that fresh, garlicky fresh tomato flavor! Try this recipe is from Ari LeVaux
1 cup onions, finely chopped (or minced in a food processor)
2-plus cups of cucumber chunks, small or large
2-plus cups of soupy tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic, plus or minus, to taste. Grated or chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice – add more to taste
½ teaspoon salt
Small handful of mint leaves, chopped
Optional: olives, whole or chopped
Mix and match whatever tomatoes are available and juicy, from lipstick red slicers to yellow cherries to mottled, funky heirlooms. With low-acid tomatoes like Brandywines you may need to add more lemon/lime.
If you can cut the tomatoes into quarters without spilling any juice, do so. Otherwise put them whole into the food processor. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic, and blend into a slurry. For every two cups of this pinkish soup, mix a cup of bulgur wheat, along with the lime juice. Let it sit for two-to-three hours.
Before washing the parsley, untie the bunches and look through them, picking out any yellow or rotten leaves. Assuming no slime, decay or other such nastiness, wash the bunch by gripping the stem end and dunking the leaf end in a big bowl of clean water with a tablespoon of vinegar. If the water stays clean, you’re done. If the water’s dirty, change and repeat until it stays clean after dunking.
Holding the bunch by the stem end, chop the leaves. A sharp knife is advised, which won’t crush the leaves as it cuts. Most recipes call for cutting the leaves finely. I like some coarsely cut leaves in the mix as well.
If using mint, add it a little at a time, because a little can go a long way.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl, including salt, onion, cucumber and olive oil. After mixing, adjust salt and lime if necessary, and mix again. It’s ready to eat immediately, but if you let the ingredients get to know each other better over the course of an afternoon, that bonding will pay off. Either way, you will eat a lot of fresh vegetables, parsley and whole grain bulgur wheat, and you will love it.