Tabboul-esque

DSC07953.jpg

This is tabbouleh taken to a big batch, super vegged-out extreme. The bulgur is required, but the lentils can be substituted for another grain (like farro), seed (like quinoa), or bean (like white beans). I like this combination of vegetables as you can get them all year round and they're not particularly expensive. Other great mix-ins would be avocado, pomegranate seeds, corn, toasted almonds, shredded kale, olives, feta, halloumi, and zucchini. Look at that, meatless Monday just got a whole lot easier. Yields 8 to 10 servings.

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup black or green lentils
  • 2 large lemons
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 8 sprigs mint
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ hothouse cucumber
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 large carrot
  1. In two separate pots, place the bulgur and the lentils. In each pot, add two cups of water, a splash of olive oil, and a big pinch of salt. Cover each pot, bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer. If using an electric stove, I find it helpful to remove the pots from the heat entirely for a few minutes while the eye comes down from high heat. This will avoid overcooking.
  2. Simmer the bulgur for 10 minutes, it should be toothsome and not paste-y. Simmer lentils — green lentils will take about 10 minutes and black lentils will take about 15 — until tender but al dente; taste after 10 minutes. 
  3. Once done, remove each pot from the heat but leave covered. The bulgur should have absorbed all of the water. If not, immediately strain any excess water then return the bulgur to the pot and cover. Fluff with a fork. Strain the lentils then return to the pot and cover.
  4. Zest one lemon. Juice both lemons into a large mixing bowl. Add the zest. Grate, press, or finely mince the garlic into the mixing bowl. Add the salt and olive oil, then stir to combine.
  5. Add the bulgur and lentils to the vinaigrette. Toss to mix evenly and let sit while you prepare the vegetables.
  6. Cut off the bottommost inch of parsley stems, then very finely mince the parsley from the cut stem end to about halfway up the bunch. Run your knife through the parsley to really finely mince. Add to the bulgur mixture.
  7. Strip the mint leaves from the stems and finely chiffonade. Core and trim the bell pepper then slice into thin strips. Slice the half cucumber lengthwise, scoop the seeds if desired, and thinly slice into half moons. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise, seed, top, then dice. Slice the green onions thinly. Grate the carrot.
  8. Add the mint, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, and carrot to the bulgur mixture. Mix everything very well then taste for seasoning. Garnish with parsley and mint leaves. Serve room temperature or cold.