Recipe: Zov's Traditional Tabbouleh Salad
This light-as-a-feather dish, on the menu at all Zov's locations, is another summer stunner, easy to make and ultra-healthy. You can prepare all of the chopped ingredients a day ahead, then add the dressing just before serving.
As chef-owner Zov Karamardian explains, "the secret to tabbouleh is to find the right balance between the lemon juice and salt (neither flavor should dominate). A high-quality extra-virgin olive oil is essential."
In the Middle East, the salad is often spooned down the center of a romaine lettuce leaf and rolled up like a cigar. If you're entertaining, you can arrange the leaves alongside the bowl so guests can roll their own.
Alternatively, turn the salad into an entrée by topping it with grilled fish, shellfish or chicken.
The following serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.
2 tbsp fine bulgur
5 plum tomatoes, seeded, finely diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and finely diced
2½ cups (about two bunches) chopped fresh Italian parsley
⅔ cup green onions, finely chopped
½ cup fresh mint, chopped
½ cup red onion, finely diced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp seasoned salt
½ tsp lemon pepper
Red leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves and lemon slices
Place the bulgur in a large bowl. Spoon the tomatoes directly over the bulgur. Spoon the cucumbers, then the parsley, green onions, mint and red onion on top of the salad. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, black pepper, salt, seasoned salt, and lemon pepper in a small bowl to blend. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
Line a large bowl with the lettuce leaves. Spoon the tabbouleh into the bowl and serve.
Note: It's important to layer the diced tomatoes directly over the bulgur, so that the bulgur can absorb the juices. If you do this, you don't need to soak the bulgur to soften it.
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