With the 4th of July just around the corner, I’ve been testing out some nontraditional sides that would fit in well at a barbeque. Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad typically made with bulgur, tomato, herbs, lemon and olive oil. The flavors are fresh, bold and clean. A perfect counter to the assortment of smokey, fatty meats usually found at a backyard barbeque. Stone fruit just screams summer to me, so I decided to substitute in some ripe, juicy plums for the tomatoes. This salad starts with small mound of sliced scallions. Tiny jewels of ombre-hued plum and fiery red chile are added just before a fragrant flurry of chopped mint and parsley. Textural bulgur is crumbled in at the end with a dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The finished salad is utterly addicting. Because tabbouleh is dairy-free, it can sit out a party for a little while without worry of spoilage. But I highly doubt it will sit around for too long before the whole bowl is finished. Continue reading for the recipe.
Ripe Plum Tabbouleh
- 1 cup fine bulgur
- Boiling water
- 6 scallions, trimmed of root and tougher green ends, finely sliced
- 6 ripe plums, halved, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 fresno chile (or other hot red chile), seeded and finely chopped
- 8 bushy mint sprigs, coarsely chopped
- 8 bushy Italian parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place bulgar in a bowl. Add boiling water until the bulgur is just covered, then set aside for 15 minutes.
To a large bowl, add scallions, ripe plums, fresno chile, mint, parsley, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with a generous pinch of salt and several turns of black pepper.
Fluff bulgar up with a fork. If you notice any water remaining at the bottom of the bowl, drain. Add bulgur to the bowl with the plum-herb mixture, crumbling up any large pieces. Gently toss to combine. Add additional olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper to taste (I like a moist tabbouleh, so I drizzled in a bit more olive oil at this point).
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