Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Vegetable Tabbouleh Salad

I know, I know... you're thinking, "This is SO not tabbouleh. This woman doesn't know what she's talking about. Where's the mint? Where's the parsely? SHE'S A LIAR!" Well, fine; you got me. This is not a recipe for traditional tabbouleh. If you're looking for that, I'd suggest you go check out this website called "google." This is, however, a delicious, healthy summertime salad that looks impressive at parties. All your friends will think you either spent a lot of time making this, or a lot of money buying it at Whole Foods, but you and I know better. It can be our little secret.

For those of you thinking, "I can't cook! I can't make this!" I'm here to tell you that's nonsense. If you can boil water, chop veggies and read directions, you can make this. I'll even walk you through it. The whole thing will probably take you less than 20 minutes. YOU CAN DO THIS.

Not pictured: Sugar.
1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat

1 ear of corn (or 1 can, if fresh is unavailable)
1 bell pepper (I chose an orange one for color, but any of them would be delicious)
1/2 hot house cucumber (I don't like seeds. I don't like cucumber peel, either.)
1/2 jalapeno (add more or less depending on your ability to tolerate spice)
2-3 scallions
handful of garden tomatoes (or 1 large tomato, depending on what's available)
(You can substitute any of these for veggies you have on hand, but these are my favorite)

2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt (I have coarsely ground shown, but any ole' salt will do. If you have sodium restrictions, just salt to taste.)
1/4 tsp sugar
Pepper to taste
Here's how to do it:
1. Add 1 cup of uncooked bulgar wheat + 2 cups water to pan, bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, let simmer for 15 minutes. Set your kitchen timer- by the time the bulgur is done cooking, you will probably be done with everything else.

2. During this time, shuck your corn and get it cooking. I cooked mine in the microwave in a shallow dish with some water, covered, for 8 minutes. When it's done cooking, stick the smaller end of it in the middle of a bunt pan for easy decobbing. I learned this from Martha Stewart a few years ago and it is one of those tips that has changed my life.

3. Chop up your veggies! I tend to chop mine on the smaller side, because I'm used to feeding my 13-month old son, and I want him to eat the food I serve him, not choke on it. A rough chop will be fine for all of these, except the jalapeno. I would dice that as small as you can. I only used half the jalapeno, but I am a complete spice wuss. If you are the type of person who eats sriracha with a spoon, then go ahead and use the whole thing.

4. Add the dressing ingredients directly into the bowl with all of your chopped veggies. If you are getting your lemon juice directly from the lemon, I would advise squeezing it into a separate bowl and then adding it to your mix. That way, if any lemon seeds get squeezed out, you can fish them out immediately instead of searching through your beautiful salad looking for a stray lemon seed. I'm speaking from experience, unfortunately.
Pictured: Lemon seeds. Evil lemon seeds.

5. Add your cooked bulgar wheat directly to the bowl. You don't have to wait for it to cool down, but you can if you want. Mix everything up, let chill in your fridge for a little while...if you can wait that long. (I couldn't.)

And that's it! I made a version of this for my parent's 4th of July party and it was a big hit. I made it again this morning for the purposes of this very blog, and my husband and I ate almost the whole batch for lunch. It's one of those foods that you don't feel bad for indulging in, because it's light and healthy. Definitely a must-make. Try it and tell me how you like it!


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