Middle Eastern Tabbouleh Salad

Ina Garten is one of my favorite chefs, and her show is wonderful. She featured tabbouleh a few years back and this is a great way to combine herbs and vegetables with bulgur wheat to form a great appetizer. Serve with warm pita triangles and even some homemade hummus! For an interesting twist, top the hummus with some fresh swiss chard pesto. Fresh garlic, lemon zest, cumin and red wine vinegar are a few good additions to this tabbouleh.

• 1 cup bulgur wheat
• 1 1/2 cups boiling water
• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
• 1/4 cup good olive oil (or less if you prefer)
• 3 teaspoons kosher salt (or half if you are using regular salt)
• 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)
• 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)
• 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)
• 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
• 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.

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