Mid-September in Ottawa is when the garden tomato harvest is at its peak. For as long as my parents have lived in this house, they’ve had more tomato plants and therefore more tomatoes than they really know what to do with. This year, however, was a different story. Having spent a large chunk of last winter and spring in Florida, my parents got their plants in too late to have a particularly good yield. In previous years, my parents have given plants and tomatoes to everyone who will take them. This year, those recipients are paying them back. So the next two dishes this week will be tomato based while I try to get the tomatoes used before they go soft. This is my second tabouleh recipe here on the blog (first one is here), and this one is more or less traditional, though I added a few extra spices just for fun.
Start with 1 cup bulgur, and about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir those together in a medium-sized bowl.
Cover the oily bulgur with 2 cups boiling water; give it a stir and set it aside for at least 15 minutes.
Now grab yourself an enormous hunk of fresh parsley (probably about 2 cups total). We have two kinds in our garden — this fluffy one:
and this more flat-leaved variety.
You also want a hunk of fresh mint (about half a cup). This has seen better days (it was the only survivor of our weed-burning escapade at the back of the house), but it’s still good.
I was feeling lazy so I chucked all those things in a food processor.
So much easier than mincing!
Now comes the annoying part: you have to dice AND SEED all your tomatoes. If you don’t seed them then your tabouleh will be mushy and that’s just gross. I used about 10 medium-sized tomatoes for this particular recipe.
When you’ve got all the tomatoes done, season them with salt and pepper. I also threw in a dash of ground coriander and another of cayenne. I figured the coriander is also a parsley sort of thing so it could only boost the flavour.
Chuck in your other herbs.
Your bulgur has by now absorbed all the water that it’s going to, so you’re going to need to drain it.
Use either cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to get as much water out of it as you can. I find the cheesecloth helps because I can just pick it up and squeeze it.
Add the bulgur to your tomato mix and add a few dollops more olive oil. Stir in lemon juice to taste.
Serve garnished with a piece of parsley, or stuff a bunch into a pita for a quick snack!