Mollie Katzen and Tabouli

Where would I be without Mollie Katzen? So many of my favorite recipes come from the pages of her cookbooks. So much so, that when my kids move out, the one thing I will be sure to send them off with is a copy of The Moosewood Cookbook – partly because it covers almost everything that one would ever want to eat, and partly because by then all of the foods will be so familiar to them that it will almost be like a treasured collection of family recipes. It’s probably the most used of my cookbooks (out of dozens), and it was the first cookbook I ever bought, back when I was a starving student and such a purchase was inconceivably extravagant. Everything I’ve ever made from her books tastes exactly how I would want that particular dish to taste.
But now I’ve gotten away from my point, which was that I made one of my favorite recipes for dinner tonight (from the Moosewood Cookbook, of course) , and it makes an absolutely perfect summer meal.

1 cup dry bulgar wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 – 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
black pepper, to taste
4 green onions, finely minced (whites and greens)
1 packed cup minced parsley (I don’t like parsley so I use cilantro)
10 to 15 fresh mint leaves, minced (or 1-2 Tbsp. dried mint)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup cooked chickpeas (I usually use a whole can), optional but highly recommended
1 bell pepper diced, optional
1 small cucumber, diced small, optional

Combine bulgar and boiling water. Cover and let stand until bulgar is tender (20-30 minutes).
While the bulgar soaks, combine remaining ingredients (herbs and onions can be minced in a food processor to get them nice and fine). Fluff bulgar and let it cool a bit, then add it to the rest of the mix and chill (for about an hour, but my kids are usually too impatient for that). Serve with warmed bread or pitas.

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