Norene’s Healthy Kitchen, the first cookbook I received after getting married (thanks, Mom and Dad) has a recipe for tabbouleh salad that it calls “Terrific Tabbouleh.” In the introduction to the recipe, Norene promises that “everyone will shout ‘yahoo!’ when they taste this terrific tabbouleh.”
It seemed a bit much to me. What would be next, “Wonderful Waffles” and “Fabulous Fish”? But I do like tabbouleh, and because I was actually able to identify bulgar in the grain aisle of my local Israeli supermarket, I decided to stop being sarcastic and start making dinner.
But not before giving my husband firm instructions to shout “yahoo!” at the appropriate time.
Anyway, I’ll be the first to say it — it isn’t for nothing that Norene calls this dish “terrific.” It’s simple to put together, healthy, satisfying, and beautiful, and when you use fresh herbs and perfectly ripe tomatoes, it feels like the BEST POSSIBLE thing to be eating.
I like serving it for dinner with roasted potato wedges, especially during the summer. It’s also great for seudat shlishit or as a light lunch during the week.
The one thing to watch out for is the timing. Since the tabbouleh/olive oil/salt mixture has to be refrigerated for at least a few hours before using, and because the whole thing goes back in the fridge for another few hours before serving, this is not something you can decide to make at the last minute.
If you try it out, let me know whether you get a yahoo.
(Adapted from the original in Norene’s Healthy Kitchen)
- 1/3 c bulgar (cracked wheat)
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 3-4 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 c tightly packed fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp dried cilantro
- 1/2 c chopped red or green onions (I use a combination of both)
- 1 can corn
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice, preferably fresh
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Place the bulgar in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well under cold running water. Press down firmly to remove excess moisture. Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil and salt; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for two hours, or even overnight.
2. Top the bulgar with a layer of chopped tomatoes. Mince the garlic, parsley, and onions and spread on top of the tomato layer. Spread the corn over that to create a fourth layer.
3. Drizzle lemon juice and grind black pepper over the top, but don’t mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (or overnight) to allow flavors to blend. Mix well, and taste and adjust seasonings as needed.