May 182014


Tabbouleh: in which I give my first-trimester nausea the finger and talk about delicious, delicious food (that I can’t eat right now).

Summer will be here soon, and with it, tomatoes! Oh tomatoes, one of my favorite summer foods: so flavorful, and such a short season. It makes me a little misty. I bought my Black Krim plants last week, so to summer I say bring it. I will so be over all this nausea by the time your fruit is ripe.

A tomato for tabbouleh

Black Krims are my tomato of choice for just about everything, especially things like gazpacho, caponata, and tomato and bread soup. Their intense, pure tomato flavor is unrivaled by any other variety I’ve sampled. It only seemed logical to try them out in tabbouleh, where it often seems that the veg are not so much the centerpiece as an afterthought. I adore this recipe because it turns most tabboulehs that I’ve tried on their heads by amplifying flavor and texture. Once you’ve had it this way, you just can’t go back.

So I know that this is getting posted a bit early, at a time when the only tomatoes you see in the farmers’ markets is in whole-plant form, but tuck this gem away and dream of summer days when the produce will be ripe and a cool veg-and-bulgur salad will be the best idea imaginable.


Cracked-wheat tabbouleh
Serves 8
From The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook

You will need:

  • 1 cup vegetable stock, broth or water
  • 1 cup fine- or medium-grind bulgur
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 tomatoes, diced (seeded if you like, but I think the gel adds a lot of flavor)
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced (and peeled and seeded, if you like)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons flavorful extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 green (spring) onions, including tender green tops, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

To prepare:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable stock (or water) to a boil. Place the bulgur in a large, heat-proof bowl and pour in the boiling stock. Let stand until the bulgur is tender and the liquid is completely absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and toss gently just until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve chilled as a side on its own or tucked into a pita.

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