I love Middle Eastern flavors and I’ve taken an interest in experimenting with different grains lately, so I decided to try a recipe I found in the June 2006 issue of Shape – Tabbouleh Salad with Pita and Hummus. If you’re looking for a terrific make-ahead option for lunch or a light dinner, this fits the bill.
This is another one I couldn’t find online (I’m on quite a streak!), so here’s the ingredient list:
1 cup cracked bulgur wheat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
5 scallions, cut into thirds
Handful of fresh mint leaves (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon), plus more to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 small cucumber, diced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 – 6 large pieces pita bread (pocket style), halved and warmed
1/2 – 3/4 cup prepared hummus
First, I put the bulgur, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan. I brought everything to a boil, reduced the heat to a simmer, covered the pot and cooked until the bulgur was al dente (about 13 minutes). I immediately spread the cooked bulgur onto a baking sheet to cool.
During the bulgur cooking time, I cut off the main parsley stems and then cut the rest of the bunch (leaves and tender stems) into thirds. I combined the parsley, scallions, and mint in my food processor and pulsed until finely chopped.
In a large salad bowl, I whisked together the lemon juice and olive oil and then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. I added the bulgur, parsley mixture, cucumber and tomatoes, and stirred to combine. (If needed, you could add more salt, pepper or lemon here to taste.)
I transferred the mixture to an airtight container and chilled it overnight. When it was time to eat, I spread a layer of hummus inside each pita and filled the halves with the chilled tabbouleh salad.
This was really tasty. The only downside here is that this meal got a similar reaction to the Mediterranean Salad with Artichokes, Penne, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Dr. O ate it without complaint and was enthusiastic about the taste, but this just wasn’t “dinner food” to him. I would definitely make this again, though, for lunch, picnics, or the rare dinner when I’m cooking for only myself.