At Least A Little Bit of Green
It’s officially cold, wet, and dark, pretty much all of the time. My summer annuals are ugly withered sticks, mocking me for my fall clean-up procrastination. The trees are turning – brown, not fall colors – the leaves falling in soggy, mushy clumps. The flu is even working it’s way through our home. All a bit much for October, right, but there it is. So imagine my delight in discovering that for some reason, my pots of parsley, chives, and mint are still going strong, despite being covered in snow a couple of times already, despite being tucked amongst pots of dead oregano, petunias, and tomatoes. When I glimpsed that lovely, lush pot of parsley I thought…tabouli salad! One of my favorites, which I don’t think I made even once this summer, what a nice little post-summer treat.
Traditional tabouli is mostly chopped parsley with a small amount of bulgur, but I like mine a little grainier. The key, for me, is for the bulgur to be squeezed of excess moisture – watery tabouli is unfortunately common and, well, smushy and yucky. Kinda like those brown leaves… I use one cup of (raw) bulgur to three cups of chopped herbs (mostly parsley, but also chives and mint). Add lemon and olive oil, tomatoes and other raw veggies (peppers, mushrooms, cucumber, etc.), salt and pepper, and tabouli salad you will have (a little nod to Yoda there, sorry).
1 cup bulgur
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually juice of one lemon)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions or chives
1/2 cup minced fresh mint
1 tomato, seeded, chopped
salt ground black pepper to taste
seeded, chopped cucumber
crumbled feta cheese
toasted pine nuts
raisins or currants
thinly sliced mushrooms
thinly sliced red or green pepper
Put bulgur and salt in a medium bowl. Bring water and lemon juice to a boil, pour over the bulgur, and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. Using your hands, squeeze any excess water from bulgur, transferring it to a dry bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve at room temp or chilled.