It seems that every Middle Eastern household has its own version of tabbouleh. Some people prefer the salad made with mostly herbs and greens; others include tomatoes; and some add spices like Aleppo pepper, sumac, and allspice. Our version, made with a little tuna, becomes a main course. Serve it as is or stuffed into pitas.
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1 cup bulgur
2 cups water
6 scallions, white bulbs only, sliced thin
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 radishes, sliced thin
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 6-ounce can tuna packed in oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, combine the bulgur and the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the bulgur is tender and most of the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl to cool.
When the bulgur is cool, stir in the scallions, cucumber, radishes, carrot, parsley, and mint. Add the tuna with its oil, the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix gently to combine.
To cook the bulgur traditionally, put it in a bowl, pour boiling water over it, let it soak for about thirty minutes, and drain. The texture will be a bit firmer.
The longer tabbouleh sits, the better it gets. As the juices from the vegetables soak into the bulgur, the flavors marry. Try some the next day.
Be sure to use the oil from the tuna. If you don't, you'll need to add another tablespoon and a half of olive oil.
This simple dish requires a neutral white wine with high acidity in order not to clash with the mint and to stand up to the lemon juice. An Italian white, such as a Pinot Bianco from the Alto Adige, ought to fit the bill perfectly.
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