I love eating at this time of year: There are so many tasty vegetables and herbs that you can quickly transform into a satisfying side dish or salad. Like tabbouleh: quite possibly the easiest but most overlooked dish you can make at home.
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad based on bulgur, a type of cracked wheat, and parsley. Add a few more fresh herbs, some chopped vegetables and a splash of olive oil, and you have this lovely salad that can play many roles on your table.
Make it part of a Middle Eastern appetizer platter alongside homemade hummus, a hunk of salty Feta cheese, and fresh vegetables and crisp pita chips for dipping. Or make it the centerpiece of a healthy, packable lunch with a little cherry tomato-mozzarella salad and some fresh fruit. Homemade tabbouleh and a dish of baked pita chips makes pretty much the simplest, freshest-tasting appetizer or afternoon snack out there.
easy homemade tabbouleh salad
1/3 cup bulgur
1 cup parsley leaves, packed, very finely minced (you’ll have about 1/3 cup, minced)
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint (optional)
2 small tomatoes, seeded and very finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with warm water; let sit 15 to 20 minutes, until it is al dente, like pasta. (You want to maintain a slightly firm, toothy texture; the bulgur will continue to soften after you’ve made the tabbouleh.) Drain the bulgur in a fine sieve and squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands. Place 1/2 cup prepared bulgur in a bowl and fluff it with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and use a spatula to fold the ingredients gently together. Like most such dishes, this gets better over a couple of hours as the flavors meld.