Middle eastern in origin, this is one of my family’s favourite salads. Its a good salad to have in your repertoire in that, because of the heartiness of the bulghar wheat (cracked wheat) this salad is quite filling. Bulghar wheat is made from the groats of hulled wheat grain. In other words, all that’s removed is the “skin”. Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain as well as the endosperm. So….really good for the temple! Bulghar wheat is readily available in most supermarkets and health food stores on both sides of the Atlantic. I tend to serve it as an accompaniment to fish or chicken and then as part of lunch the next day with whatever left overs are lurking.
Serves 6 or 8 generously
The bulghar wheat
180g (1 c) bulghar (cracked) wheat
1 tsp salt
1 garlic clove pressed
2 or 3 tbsp olive oil
300 ml (1.5 c) boiling water
juice of 1 lime/lemon
salt and pepper
The green leafy bits
250g parsley (curly or flat leaf)
4 spring onions
15g mint leaves
Other star attractions
2 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
1 medium cucumber roughly chopped
Pour the boiling water over the waiting bulghar wheat. Cover and set aside. There is no need to par boil or cook in any other way. This method results in softening the grain just enough for this salad. Don’t add the other ingredients just yet.
Finely chop together all the green bits. You know I use my food processor, but you don’t have to. Just make sure its all nicely chopped. I have been known to throw in a handful of fresh spinach leaves even though its not really traditional. It doesn’t affect the flavour and its just another boost of good yumminess. The thing about tabbouleh is that you can play with the ratio of green to bulghar quite happily.
Once the three different components are all ready, simply mix together in a roomy bowl and adjust the salt and pepper. I find it hard not to greedily help myself to a mouthful or two before putting this salad into the fridge to await the meal. Kirsty will often have a bowlful, just because…..