This recipe, which we are addicted to, may irk tabbouleh purists. In the Middle East, tabbouleh is invariably made by hand. The parsley is chopped painstakingly into mounds of light, tenderly sliced leaves - not bruised by rough blades or food processors. It's a laborious and special dish.
But we love tabbouleh, and given a choice between bulgur-heavy, too-greasy tabbouleh from the supermarket, and parsley whizzed quickly in our food processor, we'll take the latter. We adore the garlicky, minty and deliciously refreshing goodness of tabbouleh heaped on crackers or warm pita bread. So when we're pressed for time, we use the food processor and chop all the herbs together in short bursts, to bruise them as little as possible. It's delicious. Just know that it can be even better if you take the time to do it by hand.
D.I.Y. Tabbouleh about 4 cups
1 cup bulgur wheat 1 1/2 cups boiling water 2 cloves garlic 1/2 red onion 2 large bunches Italian parsley 1/2 cup mint leaves 1/2 large tomato, seeded and minced fine 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded and minced Juice of three lemons - about 1/2 cup 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
Put the bulgur wheat in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over it, cover, and put in the fridge for an hour to soften.
Chop the onion and garlic roughly then chop in a food processor until finely minced. Add to the wheat. Chop the parsley and mint roughly, discarding any large stems and stalks, then process in batches in the food processor, blending with short bursts for about 10 seconds or until very finely minced. Add to the wheat.
Mince the tomato and peel, seed, and mince the cucumber. Add to the wheat, along with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix well, taste and season accordingly. Cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld.