Friday, September 16, 2011

Tabouleh! or Tabboule or however the heck you spell that..

So I've been in a Mediterranean state of mind lately. I blame the garden and it's super freshness and the ease with which I am able to have such beautiful produce and herbs on demand. Whatever is the reason, I can't complain. I love it when food is done simply and beautifully with no frills. Let the fresh ingredients speak for themselves. They say lovely things. Try this recipe out and see what this simple mediterranean side dish says to you.

It's all quite simple, you start with these ingredients:

1 cup dried bulgar
1 bunch fresh, flatleaf parsley
2 very ripe roma tomatoes, diced
1 large or two small cucumbers, deseeded and diced
5 stalks of celery ( I am obsessed with celery. You can omit if you like. It's not a traditional ingredient anyhow.)
1/3 cup of lemon juice. Fresh preferred
1 bunch of green onions, the whole thing, small chop
1/2 red/yellow/orange bell pepper if desired. And I do!
1/4-1/3 cup good olive oil (I've used plain or lemon infused. Don't waste your lemon infused stuff. There's enough lemon from the juice in there)
salt and pepper to taste

It's really that simple, when you get down to it. Take the time to wash your parsley really good ( I found a little lady bug in there one time. Glad I washed before just chopping into it! ) Pull off all the leaves and chop them finely. It takes some time, sure, but this whole process is guaranteed to help you with your knife skills! You'll be chopping for an hour! Ok, not an hour.. but still. To do the bulgar, you just boil a little over a cup of salted water, put the bulgar in, remove from heat and cover for an hour. Don't open it. Don't touch it. Just let it do it's thing. Once you're done chopping everything else, your bulgar will be ready to use. I'm thinking of trying it with quinoa just to mix it up a bit. Then I'll have to call this dish something else entirely! So you chop everything up, mix it altogether in a big bowl, then put your bulgar in and let it chill out in the fridge a while. It's excellent the day you make it. It's even better the next. And the third day of leftovers is my favorite. Everything has married together and gotten really tasty by then.

So that's all I got for ya. Enjoy it! We like to eat it with sauteed chicken, peppers, and onion stuffed pita with a cumin mayonnaise. I'll let you in on that recipe shortly!

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