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Sunday, July 27, 2008

A simple summer salad

I like to cook lighter foods with fresh from the garden, vibrant flavors in the summer. This Tabbouleh (sometimes spelled Tabouli) salad fits the bill. I enjoy the traditional Lebanese version of this salad, but this recipe has been modified to include more vegetables. Replacing the olive oil with chicken broth retains the great flavor and eliminates much of the fat that was in the original. I often include shredded chicken or diced turkey if I'm going to serve this for dinner. If you prefer a vegetarian version, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. The vegetable quantities are suggestions that I often adapt to match what I have available and what my particular craving is on the day I prepare this. I hope you enjoy!

3/4C cracked Bulgar wheat
1.5 chicken broth (can substitute vegetable if desired)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 or 2 diced tomatoes
1/2C shredded carrot
1/2C finely chopped green onion
1/3C shredded or matchstick cut cucumber
1/3C diced bell pepper
1/3C chopped parsley

Bring broth to a boil. Place Bulgar in a large bowl and pour the boiling broth over the Bulgar. Stir and let stand 1 hour. The Bulgar will absorb most of the liquid. Discard any remaining liquid. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper and mix well. Add vegetables and any meat if desired. Stir until blended, cover and chill.

Any of the vegetables I've included can be omitted or substituted to your taste. This salad is best made the night before as it gives the flavors time to mix and meld. I like this salad even better as the week progresses.

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