Kitchen Sink Tabbouleh
I love the kitchen-sink concept of cooking. Look in the pantry and the fridge, see what ingredients need to be used up, and toss them in the recipe! I first tried it in cookies, adding everything under the sun - pecans, cranberries, oatmeal - to chocolate chip cookies. And now I am moving to tabbouleh.
For me, the store-bought tabbouleh mixes are ho-hum. It is just as easy to make your own by pouring boiling water over coarse cracked wheat and then you can clean out your fridge and add anything you like. Chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, currants, toasted pine nuts, garbanzo beans or white beans, roasted eggplant cubes, caramelized onions, feta cheese - you name it. Leftovers go into brown bag lunches or can pair with grilled chicken or fish for tomorrow night’s dinner.
KITCHEN SINK TABBOULEH RECIPE:
Makes: 8 servings | Prep: 30 minutes | Soak: 1 hour
1 1/2 cups bulgur (coarse cracked wheat)
1 1/2 to 2 cups boiling water
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped green onions or sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/3 cup currants or chopped raisins
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Place the bulgur in a strainer and rinse it under warm running water. Transfer the bulgur to a large heatproof bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over it. Let the bulgur sit for about 30 minutes and if the water hasn’t been totally absorbed and the bulgur hasn’t softened enough, add 1/2 cup more boiling water and let it sit 15 to 30 minutes longer.
Stir the bulgur to make sure it has absorbed all the water. If not, drain off the excess. Add the tomato, cucumber, green onions, and garlic. Stir to combine. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil over the top and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fold in the chickpeas, currants, pine nuts, parsley and mint and serve.
To toast the pine nuts, place them in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat and cook until they just take on a little brown color, about 3 to 4 minutes.