Tabouli Salad

This traditional Lebanese salad made from bulgur wheat is a refreshing way to enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs that are in season.  I've eaten tabouli in Israel, Greece, and Turkey.  Some cooks prefer to use less wheat, while some use a variety of herbs, including cilantro and dill.  Combine the ingredients you like the best, and make it your own recipe! 

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Ingredients (Serves 8):

1 1/2 cups bulger wheat
1 1/2 cups hot water
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed chile flakes
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
6 sprigs of fresh mint, finely chopped
4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 lemons, juiced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons red pepper paste (red bell pepper, roasted and pureed)


Place the burger wheat in a bowl and pour hot water over top and mix. Allow the burger wheat to stand for 20 minutes. Heat the oil in a skillet and add shallots. Sauté over low heat until golden brown. Let cool. To the burger wheat, add red and green bell peppers, Chile flakes, parsley, mint, scallions, tomatoes, and cooled shallots. In a small bowl, stir lemon juice with tomato paste and red pepper paste. Add lemon juice mixture to the burger wheat mixture. Drizzle the salad with a generous amount of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.