When it comes to some foods, I am a purist. Donuts should be glazed and pancakes should have maple syrup on them (not some silly fruit!) Tabbouleh is such a fundamental food in Middle Eastern cuisine, and when I crave it, I want it to taste just like it should.
However, sometimes it’s possible to make even the most perfect standard better. This super nutty tabbouleh recipe adds pistachios and avocado. As much as I love avocado, I can take it or leave it here. If you actually have leftovers, they won’t be as pretty with browned avocado in them. The pistachios however, bring it on! I thoroughly enjoyed that extra crunch!
When Jen and I made this, our grocery store options were limited and bulgar was nowhere to be found. So I substituted partially cooked buckwheat groats and they were surprisingly delicious! They aren’t nearly as fine as bulgar, so it made the dish more grain heavy and substantial, but no less delicious. During our family trip to the beach, I kept going back for more of this yummy dish at every meal. No joke.
Recipe courtesy of: Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen: A Cookbook by Adeena Sussman
½ cup bulgur, preferably fine
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 large bunches of fresh parsley, about ½ pound
½ large bunch fresh mint, about 1 ounce
8 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, 1 cup
4 medium, firm ripe red tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
½ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup chopped pistachios
1 large, firm, ripe avocado, finely diced
Place the bulgur in a medium bowl, cover with 1 cup hot water, cover tightly with plastic wrap, let sit for 20 minutes if using fine bulgur or 55 minutes if using coarse, until all the water has been absorbed; uncover and fluff it with a fork.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and salt.
Pick the leaves and tender stems from the parsley and mint, place them in a large bowl, cover them with very cold water, swish them around for a few seconds. Using your hands, pull the herbs out of the bowl, and transfer them to a salad spinner, and dry them very well; if they are still damp after spinning, lay them on a large clean towel and gently roll up the towl to absorb any excess liquid. Working with a few handfuls at a time, chop the herbs making sure to rearrange them between chopping. This prevents them from becoming black.
Add the herbs to a large bowl with the bulgur, scallions, tomatoes, pine nuts, almonds, and avocado. Toss with the lemon-olive oil mixture, season with more lemon and salt to taste. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve immediately.