For those of you nearing the end of a restricted Passover diet, I’m sure you are eagerly waiting Monday night when pizza, pasta and other delicious leavened goods will again be kosher. I want to offer another tasty dish to tantalize your taste buds: tabouleh. This Middle Eastern salad made out of bulgur wheat is easy to prepare and totally refreshing as the days begin to (gradually) get warmer: parsley, mint and lemon brighten the nutty bulgur wheat while grape tomatoes add a touch of sweetness. Topped with plenty of salty feta cheese, I could (and have) eaten bowls and bowls of this salad filled with whole grains.
Homemade tabouleh, like most things, is infinitely better than what you can find in a store, and is actually very easy to prepare. It’s also one of those fantastic dishes that gets better as it sits and soaks up more and more flavor. As a vegetarian entrée or side dish, this tabouleh will become a summer staple.
(Makes about 5 servings as a side dish or 3 as a main meal, depending on appetite)
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup bulgur wheat
¼ cup olive oil
Juice from 2 juicy lemons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch chopped flat leaf parsley
1 bunch chopped fresh mint
2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half (I used miniature heirloom tomatoes, which looked fantastic because of the colorful variety)
About 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice and olive oil to taste
1. Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Stir, and then allow to sit at room temperature for at least one hour. The bulgur will absorb all of the liquid and plump up, like rice.
2. Add the parsley, mint and tomatoes and then stir well to combine. Add the feta and gently stir. Add salt, pepper and extra lemon juice to taste, and more olive oil if it seems dry. You can serve it immediately, but the flavors improve if it can sit for a few hours.