Tabouli is one of those meals I love and feel complete nostalgia about. Our mother and grandmother made it often, and there was always tabouli in the refrigerator when I came home from college. There’s nothing better after eating junk food all semester. It’s not just healthy and delicious, but I swear it can make failing Statistics seem unimportant.
Some recipes for tabouli use cinnamon, sumac, cumin, or a combination of them. I’ve used the following recipe for years, and think the cumin is key. My grandmother always added canned chopped black olives. I know that using the good, expensive Kalamata olives would be more authentic, but the canned are what I grew up eating and therefore love. And, if I didn’t use them, what would my daughter put on the tips of her fingers while I’m making dinner?
I hope my girls grow up loving tabouli as much as I did. And I hope that I can share the recipe with them when they’re old enough. Or make if for them when they come home from college. Over a bowl of tabouli and lettuce, I’ll tell them what I wish our parents had told me: that there is a 90% chance (give or take a standard deviation) that passing or failing Statistics will never matter.
1 cup bulgar wheat
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cup black olives, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Soak bulgar wheat in 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 cup lemon juice for at least an hour. Fluff with a fork.
Add remaining ingredients and toss with more salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Serve in romaine leaves with a vodka tonic, as pictured.