For me, it’s not truly summer until I’ve planted a small herb garden in my backyard. Nothing beats fresh ingredients, and it’s always a little sad when the end of the season comes around and I have to start using dried herbs. Sigh. Better use the fresh ingredients while you can! I use herbs in everything – chicken, fish, pasta, sandwiches, you name it. But considering how hot and sticky it’s been lately here in New York, who wants to turn on the oven or the grill? So I made tabbouleh.
Tabbouleh is a very common Middle Eastern salad made of bulgur wheat, spices and LOTS of herbs. It’s more of an herb salad with the other ingredients mixed in than a grain salad with herbs. Making tabbouleh is super easy, and better yet, does not require the use of the oven or stove. Light, healthy and fresh, it’s the perfect dish for a hot summer day!
Sarah McAnaw is a senior at American University studying International Relations and biology. After spending a semester in Haifa, Israel, she apparently has not yet gotten over her Middle Eastern food kick and is continuing to make her family reminisce through food along with her.
Feeds a crowd
Note: After making this recipe, I think I would have used even more herbs to make the bulgur almost a secondary ingredient. If you like leafy, herb-filled salad, I would recommend maybe increasing the amount of parsley to 1 ½ cups and the mint to ½ cup.
1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ cucumber, diced
2 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Place the bulgur wheat in a medium sized bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for about an hour, until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the bulgur.
Once the bulgur is ready, add the herbs, garlic, scallions, tomato and cucumber; toss to combine. Add the spices, lemon juice, zest and olive oil and mix well to make sure all the ingredients are coated. Enjoy as a side dish or as a light meal!