Along with the advent of warmth here in western New York comes the blessing of brand-new, buzzing-fresh bundles of produce from our CSA share. The green nourishment our bodies crave after so much cold and grey is satisfied in this salad. Tabouli and I are old friends, my mom has made this for as far back as my childhood food memories go. I’ve learned to appreciate it more as time goes on, the verdant herby-ness, the bright notes of fresh lemon juice, and the warm nuttiness of cracked bulgur.
This will serve 6-8 as a side dish
1 cup bulgur
3 cups parsley
2 bunches scallions
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tbs. spearmint or peppermint leaves
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Pour hot filtered water over bulgur , enough to completely cover.
2. Finely mince the scallions, parsley, and mint. A consistent texture is key to this salad. This is where a food processor can definitely save you time. Personally, though, I enjoy mincing fragrant herbs with a good-quality knife. It’s therapeutic.
3. Dice tomatoes, preferably in season, since most year-round tomatoes taste like cardboard.
4. Drain the bulgur, it usually takes only about an hour or even less. I usually swish my fingers through as I prep the other ingredients. It’s best to have the bulgur slightly “al dente”. Oversoaking just makes the salad a soggy mush, I should know, as I am talking from unfortunate experience! A friend was getting married and for her potluck reception requested this tabouli. I kept thinking the bulgur needed more soaking and as a result made an enormous amount of the ugliest, most water-logged tabouli ever. The bride, thankfully, never seemed to notice…but I feel bad for the poor folks who were sent home with the left-overs!
5. Add tomatoes, herbs, and spices to the bulgur.
6. Add olive oil and squeeze the lemon juice. Mix well.
7. Check seasonings, and chill…or serve at room temperature.