This is a guest blog post authored by my friend Mal Blake. When she offered to share her recipe, my mouth started watering. This is the perfect salad for a summer picnic! Mal is a terrific cook and such a fun loving person. Here’s her take on tabbouleh.
What started as a desperate attempt to use up my cucumbers and tomatoes (hellooooo summer garden!) has turned into a delicious recipe that we eat consistently during the summer. It is heartier (more grain and veggies) than traditional tabbouleh. Add some hummus and pita on the side for a filling lunch! This dish packs and travels very well, making it perfect for al fresco dining. We recently packed it on a camping trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This recipe calls for fresh mint. If you’re not growing mint, DO IT! Si se puede! It needs partial/full sun and consistent water, and it will LOVE. LIFE. I’m so serious. The Ethiopian restaurant down the street from me grows their mint in the cracks between their parking lot and their building. Just sayin’...you got this, people!
Also, you’ll notice there is no parsley in this dish! “But Mal….that’s what tabbouleh is. It is a parsley and bulgur-based dish.” Not in my kitchen, y’all! Parsley is not something I grow or buy regularly, and I just don’t love the taste. If you love parsley, you do you - throw it in there!
And finally….Gold Rush Currant tomatoes. We grew these little bebes for the first time this year, and they are magical! They are the teeniest tomatoes you’ve ever seen, and they provide the MOST satisfying pop to this dish!
-1 cup bulgur wheat (if this is new to you, check the bulk food or organic/natural section)
-1 cup boiling water
In a heatproof bowl, combine bulgur wheat and boiling water. Stir gently, and set aside for 1 hour, uncovered.
In a large bowl, gently combine:
-¼ cup finely diced red onion
-10 pitted kalamata olives, diced
-2 tablespoons roasted red pepper, diced (This is low-pressure, people - just buy the jarred stuff)
-1 small cucumber, seeded and diced
-1 cup fresh tomato, diced (Use what you have! I had black cherry and Cherokee purple tomatoes on hand)
-½ cup whole Gold Rush Currant tomatoes (skip if you don’t have)
-1 tablespoon finely diced mint
-2 tablespoons finely diced cilantro
-⅔ cup crumbled feta (I am easy-going on many things, but feta is special. Get the good stuff, and crumble it yourself to avoid powdery sad-times in your salad)
For the dressing, shake together in a tightly sealed jar:
-Juice of half a lemon (For the love, please use fresh)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Check the bulgur; it’s ready when all the water is absorbed, and the bulgur has cooled to room temperature. Add bulgur and dressing to your large bowl of vegetables, and stir gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Yields 6 cups of tabbouleh salad
About the Author
Mal Blake is a Midwestern girl who headed down South. She loves exploring Nashville and trying recipes with lots of inspiration from her garden. You can follow her on Instagram @malkblake