By John Ash | Fine Cooking Issue 28
Servings: four to six.
There’s a great debate among cooks from the Middle East about the ratio of bulgur to parsley in a tabbouleh. Some say it should be at least 8 parts parsley to 1 part bulgur. In this version, I’ve used a bit more bulgur. The California hook in this salad is the sweet and caramelized roasted tomatoes. They’re a perfect foil for the lemony-herby tabbouleh.
For the tomatoes:
3 lb. ripe medium tomatoes, halved and gently seeded
3 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
1/3 cup fine bulgur wheat
1/3 cup rich vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water, heated to boiling
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs. minced scallion (white and green parts)
1 Tbs. finely minced garlic
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
For the garnish:
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Fresh mint sprigs
To roast the tomatoes— Heat the oven to 350°F. Coat the tomato halves with the olive oil, season them lightly with salt and pepper, and arrange them, cut side down, on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 2-1/2 hours. The tomatoes should be very concentrated and browned, and most of their juices will have cooked off. (The tomatoes can be cooked a day or two ahead and refrigerated; before serving, bring to room temperature.)
To make the salad— In a bowl, combine the bulgur, boiling stock, and half the olive oil; cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Stir in the remaining olive oil, the parsley, mint, scallion, garlic, lemon juice, and zest. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
To serve— Mound the tabbouleh in the middle of each plate and arrange the roasted tomatoes around the tabbouleh. Garnish with the pine nuts and sprigs of mint.