Tabouleh is one of my favorite salads, specially when tomatoes are ripe, fresh and ruby red. I like my tabouleh with a generous amount of flat leaf parsley and fresh mint. Now that the weather has warmed up, the herbs in my garden have just taken off, becoming so robust they provide a generous harvest. The Italian flat-leaf parsley specially, since it did not die down over the winter is bigger than I have ever seen it and I was able to cut off at two big bundles this morning. The bulgur is a great alternative to rice and feels a lot healthier to me when I eat it. Note that the salt quantity is for coarse sea salt, if you are using table salt use half the amount called for; Kosher salt would remain the same.
I prepare tabouleh with a little extra spice, I recently discovered Cavender's all purpose Greek seasoning. I buy the kind without MSG, be sure to read the label...there is just no need to add extra chemicals to a dish like this, but the seasoning blend is flavorful and unique. I went to the Farmer's market this weekend and found the most beautiful tomatoes which I stuffed with the tabouleh, they made a great little lunch along side some pieces of Greek feta with a little olive oil and Kalamata olives. The tabouleh is best after it marinates for a while, but I m not usually that organized to make things very far ahead or most of all patient enough to wait after preparing it. It's great as a side dish with grilled shrimp and chicken, or stuffed into a fresh piece of pita bread with a little Feta cheese.
Tabouleh Stuffed Tomatoes
1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
1-1/2 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cavender's all purpose Greek seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 medium cucumber
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 garlic clove, minced
1 mounded tablespoon minced shallot
6 medium tomatoes for stuffing
1. In a large bowl, combine bulgur, lemon juice, about 1/2 tablespoon salt, olive oil and boiling water and stir to combine. Allow mixture to rest at room temperature for about an hour or until all liquid is absorbed.
2. Peel cucumber and slice in half (longways), then quarter. You should now have 4 triangle looking pieces with the seeds at the points. Slice seeds off then chop into 1/4" thick pieces. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, and all remaining ingredients to bowl with bulgur. Adjust seasoning to taste, sometimes I add a little extra lemon juice to make the flavors pop.
3. Slice tops off tomatoes and scoop out flesh, then lay on a towel to drain a few minutes. Fill with tabouleh and serve.