As I mentioned earlier, this week I picked up parsley, cucumbers (technically they are pickling cucumbers but I find them to delicious to eat fresh) and tomatoes. I sort of felt like I was cheating on my CSA farm and felt bad that I wasn’t checking on the organic status of each vendor, but tabbouleh just sounded so good, especially if we ended up making the garlic-lemon lamb kabobs as we discussed earlier in the week (we didn’t and so I brought potato salad to the bbq). And I know this blog is about what I’m making from the CSA but I feel like stuff from the Farmer’s Market should kind of count too (oh wait, I did use most of the bunch of mint in this recipe yay I think it counts). Plus I was pleased with my tabouleh rendition and would like to be able to find it again.
I started with 4 recipes: the tabouleh from The New Best Recipe, and 3 print-outs from the last time I made tabouleh (in um, 2004). None of them felt quite right as I probably sort of followed all three last time too, and while TNBR has not let me down it didn’t include cucumber and I swear my favorite tabouleh from that little cafe in my college town had cucumbers in it (TNBR recipe also had green onions and I totally forgot to buy those). Both TNBR and my gourmet/epicurious recipe (Lebanese Tabbouleh from Gourmet June 2002) suggest using a box of tabouleh mix if you can’t find fine bulgar; as far as I could tell, of the three boxes I found at the grocery store only one, Near East, packaged the bulgar separate from the spice mix. But this box contained more bulgar than TNBR called for. In the end I made the bulgar as TNBR directed and then mostly followed the other ingredients based on the gourmet/epicurious recipe, and then tweaked the TNBR dressing. Oh and I added some diced feta as I read that somewhere recently and it sounded good.
My Tabouleh, no claim to authenticity
- 3/4 cup fine bulgar (entire small box)
- 3/8 cup lemon juice
- big bunch flat leaf parsley
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 medium sized pickling cucumbers
- small bunch mint
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- pinch salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
Rinse the bulgar in a fine mesh colander, drain it and dump in a bowl. Add the 3/8 cup of lemon juice and set aside to soften/plump/get fluffy. Chop the tomato and cucumber into your preferred diced (I like 1/4″ or so); wash and dry the parsley, removing the majority of the tough stems then finely chop all of it. Wash, dry and finely chop the mint leaves. I think I had about 1 1/2-2 cups of tomato, 1 1/2-2 cups of cucumber, 2-3 cups of parsley and 1/4-1/2 cup of mint (I’ll use less mint next time). When the bulgar is soft enough and fluffy toss with the vegetables and herbs. Whisk together the 1/8 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and cayenne and toss with the salad. I served the salad topped with some diced feta and think it really added to it.
To bulk up our meal we also had some baguette with super yummy cheese.