It’s still January and still cold with snow and sleet expected, but we need a break from stew, chili, and soups at my house. Last week I told you here about a typical Sunday meal at my grandmother’s house. Today I want to share a recipe from another Sunday meal I was frequently privileged to share. I grew up in a small town on the Mississippi River. One of the nice things about river towns, is that they are usually culturally diverse. As a young girl, I often spent Saturday night with one of my good friends who was of Lebanese descent. After attending the Greek Orthodox church with her, we went to her grandmother’s for lunch. Teta spoke not a word of English, but she spoke the international language of love—food. Lunch at Teta’s was a bustling lively affair with new smells, food, and sounds.
My favorite thing on the menu was tabouleh—a salad made with bulgur wheat and fresh vegetables! Bulgur (or bulghar) wheat is a whole wheat that has been cleaned, dried, parboiled, and ground. It is a common ingredient in Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean dishes. I found this in the “natural” section of Kroger. I have eaten this salad in restaurants, but it has never matched my memories or the recipe I was given.
If we can’t have spring, at least we can eat something that tastes like spring. The parsley and mint in this salad give it a unique flavor! If you have never tried it, you’ve been missing a treat—easy, delicious, and it only gets better with time. I’ll be serving this tonight with stuffed cabbage rolls and I’ll share that with you soon..
1 cup bulgar wheat
4 cups water
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
6-8 mint leaves, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice or more to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cucumber, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the wheat in the water until soft (at least 1/2 hour). Drain thoroughly. Add chopped vegetables, lemon juice, and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill until served. I add the cucumber because I like it and Teta added it. This can be made in advance and gets better with time!
I’ll be linking this with Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. You can click on her button on Thursday night to see what’s cooking over there!