As you all know, I was not born in the USA. I come from a very loud, food-loving, in-your-business, quirky Syrian family and I love it. It did take A some getting used to but now he’s a part of us, thinking about food all the time and talking about 10 octaves louder.
I’d like to think that’s from him adapting to us and not from hardness of hearing due to our noise levels.
One of my favorite things about my Middle East heritage is the food. I’m sure you’ve seen at least one photo of our family gatherings on Instagram at some point or another but if you haven’t, they consist of an insane amount of food, like enough to feed the entire US. Most dishes are Levantine but our favorite American dishes tend to reappear time and again.Tabbouleh always seems to make it to each family gathering. It’s easy, delicious and full of nutrients. I’m sure you’ve all heard of this popular salad at some point or another. Tabbouleh consists of bulgur, parsley, lemon, tomatoes, cucumbers and mint. Each region does have a different way of making it but the basic ingredients are always present. Traditionally, dried mint is used but since I had fresh on hand, I used it instead.
If you’re worried about finding bulgur, Bob’s Red Mill now sells bulgur – I found it recently at my local grocery store (chain store). Bulgur is toasted cracked wheat (unfortunately, NOT gluten free) – it’s a healthy accompaniment to soups and salads and is used frequently in Middle East cooking.
And finally….a word to the wise: Check your pearly whites in the mirror before flashing anyone your award-winning smile – parsley has a way of humbling the best of us.
1/2 c bulgur
2 bunches of parsley, minced finely
1 tsp – 2 tsp salt (depending on preference)
16 fresh mint leaves OR 1 T dry mint
2 cucumbers, finely diced
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
Place bulgur in a small bowl with 1 c water. Allow to sit for a few hours until water is fully absorbed. Alternately, you can cook the bulgur with the water and until is absorbed. Allow to fully cool down before using.
Place parsley, lemon, salt, mint, cucumbers and tomatoes in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Carefully add in bulgur.