As I worked in the garden these past few weeks I’ve been eyeing the Italian parsley in the herb garden wondering:
a) will it completely overtake the entire garden and then my house like in that crazy sci-fi movie … can’t remember the name, but you know which one I’m talking about, the one where the ivy turns evil.
b) it’s so big and bushy, can I turn it into some kind of cool, eco-friendly afro wig and make a million bucks?
c) what possible dish could you use so much Italian parsley in one fell swoop?
The parsley seriously needed to be tamed.
Nearby is my little mint garden, which is also doing extremely well. And that’s when inspiration struck! Mint + Italian parsley = TABBOULEH!
For those unfamiliar with ta-ta-tabbouleh … it’s a delicious middle eastern salad. It’s ridiculously simple to make and oh, so flavorful! The secret is the cinnamon and allspice. Who thinks to add these to salad, right? But it totally works!
Step 1: Make your bulgur (aka cracked wheat). If you haven’t worked with bulgur before, let me assure you that it’s super easy (or I would not be using it). You don’t need much for this salad, I used 1/4 cup which was probably generous. Many recipes call for only a few tablespoons. Here’s how you make it: You rinse it a couple times with water. Drain it. Let it sit on the counter while you’re making the rest of salad, fluffing it every once in awhile with a fork. That’s it! How simple is that? I know, crazy simple!
Step 2: The basis for the salad is lots and LOTS of Italian parsley (3 part ratio = 2 huge bunches) plus mint (1 part) julienned. Add to that some chopped tomatoes, scallions or chives and your bulgur. Give it a toss.
Step 3: Next add the spices to taste: 1/4-1/2 tspn cinnamon (essential) and allspice (or Middle Eastern 7-spice). A little sea salt and cracked pepper.
Step 4: Squeeze one lemon over the top and drizzle olive oil until nicely coated. Mix.
This salad is so lovely and refreshing, it’s perfect for summer. And if you have some pita bread around —hoowhee—even better! I paired this salad up with some sun-dried tomato hummus, toasted pita squares and a glass of Chardonnay. I’m telling you, it was perfect!
Go put your feet up and enjoy!