This just in from Christie!
Hi Eben! Great post on cookware, etc. Your knowledge is amazing, but we knew that 🙂
Last evening, while dodging raindrops, we had our CSA get-together featuring yummy CSA veggies. Food ranged from Lissa’s pesto cheesecake through my tabbouleh and focaccia pizza, with stops along the way for lots of other goodies (including a version of your cuke, onion, and pepper salad) and ending with apple pudding! We had great fun and are looking forward to having you and Monica join us next year.
We were asked for some recipes, so here’s my tabbouleh. When I make tabbouleh I don’t measure, so I am trying to approximate the taste. I am generally heavy on lemon, but tried to use a light hand on last night’s fare.
Christie’s Tabbouleh Salad
This is, essentially, a parsley salad. So you can’t go overboard on the parsley. I generally use flat/Italian parsley (Us Greeks DON”T credit it to the Italians), augmented with curly parsley to give a bit more “fluff” and texture.
2/3 c Bulgar–found at co-ops–in supermarkets around here Red Mill brand is good
2 c chopped parsley, minimum
1/2-1 c chopped tomatoes
3/4 c olive oil
1/2 c fresh squeezed lemon juice, (more to taste)
1 c or so chopped green onions (both white and green parts)
chopped mint to taste
salt and pepper to taste, (Careful here; taste first!)
Soak Bulgar for an hour or two. Cover with water and add more if needed. Bulgar is already cooked, so all it needs is soaking. Check to see that it is soft all the way through and then drain off any excess water. Mix with other ingredients and adjust to your taste. I usually add some chopped mint–apple and spearmint are good. Don’t overdo it. Add just enough for the exploring palate to detect, but not enough so you say, “Wow, lotsa mint!” Sometimes I have been known to add crumbled feta cheese. Like many salads with an acid and oil dressing, this gets better after sitting for a day.
Notes: Do not used bottled lemon juice. Even the better stuff not- from-concentrate just isn’t the same. You need to squeeze those lemons to get juice with the right taste.
Bulgar is not the same as cracked wheat, so if you shop at a co-op where they may carry both, be sure to get the stuff labeled Bulgar, (Or whatever the spelling). Cracked wheat is crushed wheat grains and it is not parboiled.
Since this is a parsley salad, it should basically look green–not red (too many tomatoes), or beige (too much Bulgar). That said, this salad can be made in just about any proportions that suit your taste buds. In addition, you can also make it with a base of orzo or couscous (both pastas) instead of the Bulgar. That will give you a different texture, of course.
Bulgar is very versatile. You can use it in lots of things, and all you have to do is let it soak while you are doing other stuff. It is a very healthy alternative to rice. Just soak, heat in the micro, and use wherever you would use rice. It has a slightly nutty taste compared to rice.
Eben’s P.S. – Flattery will get y’all everywhere! 😉
And FYI, I never measure either, (It’s true, ask M!), so all my recipes are converted for sharing – If that’s how you cook too, do what Christie did and approximate to the reasonable side for spice and whatnot. This one sounds great for summer, I’m doin’ some up!