June 28, 2011


Tabbouleh is a Lebanese salad made primarily of herbs. It's crisp and fresh and delicious. It also has a sprinkling of fine-grain bulgur and tomatoes. I ate it with pita bread and homemade hummus, which has to be my favorite vegetarian sandwich.

from David Lebovitz

3 tablespoons (30g) fine bulgur
3 medium (600g) firm ripe tomatoes, diced into small cubes
2 (50g) spring onions or scallions, trimmed and very thinly sliced
14 ounces (400g) flat-leaved parsley, most of the stalks discarded, leaves washed and dried
2 cups (20g) mint leaves (no stems), washed and dried
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (or Lebanese seven-spice mixture)
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
2/3 cup (150ml) extra virgin olive oil

4 gem lettuce heads, washed and quartered

1. Rinse the bulgur in several changes of cold water. Drain well and put in a bowl. Stir it with a fork every now and then to help it fluff up.

2. Put the diced tomatoes in a bowl and set aside while you prepare the herbs. A word of warning: do not chop the herbs with a mezzaluna. This will only bruise them.

Using a razor-sharp knife, grab as much of the parsley and mint as you can handle in a bunch, and slice them very thin, to end up with nice, crisp slender strips.

3. Drain the tomatoes of their juice and put in a large bowl. Add the spring onion and herbs. Sprinkle the bulgur all over. Season with the cinnamon, allspice and pepper. Add salt to taste. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately with the quartered gem lettuce.

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