This is a great salad. I am fully aware that winter is still very much upon us. But I have been craving salads, things that are FRESH and COLD. So naturally (or unnaturally) the "fresh" ingredients in this recipe aren't ripe or in season, but sometimes you just have to go with your cravings. Plus, it's just pretty.
1 cup bulghur wheat*
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup feta cheese
Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, remaining 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and the pepper; mix well. Add cheese. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.
So, maybe tuck this one away in your summertime file when you can use ripe garden tomatoes and cucumbers. Or substitute those veggies with others that actually taste good right now. This is literally like making a salad, it's so fast and easy, and it keeps great in the fridge for up to a week. In fact, it gets better as it marinades! So make a double batch (I do) and you've got lunch for the whole week!
Here's a thought if you have trouble getting your toddler to eat good food. Something amazing happens when you let your kids cook with you, right? It is so much harder, and most of the time I have to try really really hard not to get frustrated at the unnecessary messes that are made, but they try raw vegetables and other food that they probably wouldn't try in another setting. Here, they were snacking on cucumbers and tomatoes, last night- whole almonds and snowpeas. They feel a sense of pride that they made what's on the table, so there is a greater incentive to eat it... even at such a young age (like my almost-2-year-old). I notice a huge difference when I let the kids help. I value food, probably more than I should, and tend to get passionate about it. But it is so rewarding and fulfilling when my kids (and my husband) have full bellies of healthy food. I see feeding my family as one of my biggest responsibilities so I take it seriously. That being said, I wish I could say we ate healthy 24-7 (It's probably quite evident that I am also passionate about sweets). We don't, but we sure do try.
I'll step off the soap box now. Sorry :/