When it’s just too stinking hot to cook you need a recipe that doesn’t require turning on the stove or oven and yet leaves you happy and satisfied. Tabbouleh salad has been my answer to the summer cooking woes for as long as I can remember.
A traditional middle eastern dish, Tabbouleh, is quite simply bulghur wheat (a grain), chopped parsley and mint, lemon juice and typically cucumber and tomato. Then you can add anything else that makes your heart sing.
As odd as it may sound tabbouleh salad was one of my favorite meals growing up. When Mom announced it was tabbouleh night the kids in the Pappa household did a little tabbouleh dance. How my Hungarian Mom knew about tabbouleh in the early 80’s in Scranton, Pennsylvania is a mystery to me, but why we loved this dinner is no mystery at all.
Mom would put out a big wooden bowl of tabbouleh salad, and a platter of large romaine leaves. We would all serve ourselves, overfilling the lettuce leaves with the lemony, refreshing salad, eating the lettuce like tacos and going back for seconds and thirds. It is a fond memory, and one of the main reasons I still love to make a big batch of tabbouleh during the hot summer months and eat it all week long.
I have added a twist. Kale. Shhh.. it’s ok, don’t be mad. I just figured how could kale NOT work in this? Also, last year I saw a kale tabbouleh salad in the New York Times, so I knew it was a good idea.
Tabbouleh highlights the best ingredients of the season, makes kids dance, and moms happy. I mean, does it get better than that?
- 1 cup of bulghur wheat
- 1 cup of boiling water
- ⅓ cup of lemon juice
- about 3 lemons
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- + a drizzle for kale
- 1½ teaspoons of sea salt
- 1 cup of kale, chopped
- leaves removed from stems
- ¾ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
- ¾ cup of fresh mint, chopped
- 3 baby cucumbers, chopped
- also called kirby cucumbers
- 2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
- white and green parts
- 1 can of chickpeas
- Place the bulghur in a large bowl and cover with boiling water, 1 tbsp sea salt, and ½ the lemon juice. Stir, cover and allow to sit for 30 minutes (DO NOT cover with plastic wrap to avoid BPA exposure)
- In the meantime place chopped kale in a small bowl, drizzle with ½ tsp olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Rub oil and salt into kale leaves and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the salad
- After 30 minutes remove cover from bulghur, add all additional ingredients including kale. Toss with remaining lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt. Allow to chill. Serve.
- I love eating taboulleh in romaine lettuce leaves, but just a bowl also does the trick.
- To make this gluten free use quinoa rather than bulghur wheat.
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