Rinse the bulgur in running water until the water runs quite clear, then transfer the bulger to a bowl. Add enough water to cover the bulgur by 1 inch. Set aside for 5 minutes, then drain in a sieve and set aside, in the sieve, while you prepare the the rest of the salad ingredients.
Combine the scallions, parsley, and mint in a deep salad bowl. Remove the excess water from the bulger by squeezing it dry in your hands. (Some cooks wrap the bulger in a kitchen towel and squeeze it to extract as much water as possilbe.) Add the bulgur to the salad bowl and mix with your hands, gently squeezing the greens and onions to release their flavor.
Chop the tomatoes and tadd them to the salad, again, squeezing gently with your hands.
Add 4 tablespoons olive oil and the juice of half a lemon to the salad, Mix in salt and pepper as desired and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if you wish.
Set the tabbouleh aside to let the flavors mix for at least 30 minutes before serving. When you are ready to serve, arrange the romaine leaves on a platter with the tabbouleh in the center of the platter.
Varrations: Some Lebanese cooks add a ver small amount ot cinnamon and allspce - just a pinch of each - with the salt and pepper. Others will add a pinch of Middle Eastern dried red chili peppers, ground or flaked, and a hint - just a whisper - of cumin.
|... an excerpt of:
"The Essential Mediterranean" (Harper Collins)
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