Summer is upon us, and one of my favorite things about the season are fresh, chilled salads. They make a great snack, side dish, or even a light lunch. This time of year, there are always at least one, and up to three or four, different kinds of chilled salads in our fridge. One of my favorites is Tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern dish made with coarse bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley. It’s fresh and light, with the brightness of lemon juice, and I learned a tip from the amazing folks at America’s Test Kitchen that makes every bite a burst of amazing summer flavors.
So, I do indeed love me some cooking on TV. Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and America’s Test Kitchen on PBS are both always full of no-nonsense tips, recipe tweaks, comparisons, best-of tests, and I pretty much trust them in all things culinary.
I was catching up on my episodes of Test Kitchen, when they made tabbouleh. They had an absolutely brilliant step in the recipe that ended up making some of the best tabbouleh I have ever produced here in my kitchen! Clearly, I needed to pass this along to you!
The secret is, instead of using solely lemon juice and olive oil to dress the tabbouleh, which is pretty standard, instead dice and salt the vegetables and allow them to sit for a while, where some of the juices will be drawn out by the salt. Then, you build the dressing using the tomato and cucumber waters that come out of the veggies, and add that to the lemon juice and olive oil.
It’s a win-win — the veg come out seasoned, so is the juice, and even more of that wonderful, fresh summer flavor gets absorbed into the grains of bulgur wheat. It’s really fantastic, and I sure hope you will give This easy tabbouleh a try!
You don’t need the tabbouleh kit with the seasonings and dried parsley in it, just get the bulgur wheat. Do it from scratch. It will take you the same amount of time either way, and this one will give you bragging rights. Pro tip: better get double the bulgur wheat and stuff, because you will be making this again when it gets completely devoured!