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Perfect tabbouleh

There are many wonderful, hearty salads out there with grains as their main ingredient, and tabbouleh is not one of them. Granted, the Levantine salad has bulgur in it – without the bulgur it wouldn’t be tabbouleh. But bulgur is not tabbouleh’s main ingredient. Tabbouleh is not a grain salad with herbs in it; it is an herb salad with grains in it.

Tabbouleh

1/3 cup bulgur

salt

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 3 medium)

2 bunches fresh parsley, thick stems discarded

1 small bunch fresh mint, thick stems discarded

4 scallions, green parts discarded

juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

black pepper

Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Put the bulgur and a pinch of salt in a small bowl, then add 2/3 cup boiling water. Cover the bowl and steep until the bulgur is tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes, parsley, mint and scallions, and combine them in a salad bowl. Drain the bulgur and add it to the salad bowl along with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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