Minted Cherry Tabouli

Minted Cherry Tabouli

So easy, even a child can make it! This is actually true. It is a very easy recipe, and the only cooking you'll do is bringing a cup and half of water to a boil. Here is a fresh and lovely wheat-based salad recipe that promises to be neither bland nor watery. Bulgur is a precooked, dried wheat that you will surely be able to find in the bulk area of a natural foods store, and in the natural foods area of a supermarket.

Ready In: 25 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
heaping 1/2 cup dried cherries, plus hot water to cover
1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (or an equivalent amount of smaller cukes)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 clove of garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1 bunch of parley, to make 1 heaping cup finely chopped (or more!)
1/4 cup finely chopped mint (if I don't have fresh mint, I use a teaspoon of dried mint from a peppermint tea bag)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, pour hot tap water of the cherries to cover and let them soak while you make everything else.
  2. In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the wheat and cover (I use a large pot lid) while you prepare the cucumbers and herbs, and the dressing, which you will make by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and garlic.
  3. If your diced cucumbers taste bitter or seem especially watery, sprinkle them with salt and leave them to drain in a colander while your prepare the rest of the ingredients, then give them a quick rinse and rub them dry with a clean dish towel; if they taste sweet and delicious, don't bother.
  4. Now return to your wheat, which should, when you fluff it with a fork, look puffy and dry-ish; it should be chewable but still chewy. If it's sitting in water, drain it well and cover it again for a few minutes to let it sort itself out.
  5. Stir in the dressing, then stir in the herbs, then stir in the cucumbers and the drained cherries. If you can, let it sit, covered at room temperature, for an hour or so to let the flavors blend.
  6. Taste it before serving and add more salt or lemon juice if the flavor needs a boost; it will most likely need salt. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

*Ingredient Tips
We swap in plumped dried cherries for the traditional chopped tomatoes. You could of course use chopped tomatoes, or halved cherry tomatoes, or even quartered grapes or diced plums: we have used all of these things at various moments, and I bet veggies would be great too.

Note
If you can't find bulgur at your local supermarket, you might be able to find a box of "Tabouli Mix" and you can use that. Just toss any little packets that came in the box, ignore the instructions, and scale back the recipe by a third, since there will likely be only a cup of bulgur in there. Scaling back should be easy. That's one cup of wheat, one cup of boiling water, and, er, 2/9ths of a cup of oil and lemon juice! I assume that's marked out on your measuring cup.

Read more about Catherine making Minted Cherry Tabouli with her family.

See all recipes from Catherine Newman's "Dalai Mama Dishes" blog.

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