It is that straddle season: the time between spring and summer where the temperatures have crept up, but the veggies available have not quite caught up to those temps. So, what do we as seasonal eaters do? We turn our attention to warmer weather salads that incorporate winter/spring vegetables. This week’s recipe is one that I made a couple of months ago for a neighbor get together and one that I am planning on making this week as well. It solves one of the issues that I have with some traditional tabbouleh recipes; too much parsley, by substituting kale. This recipe also has many opportunities for innovation as well; adding in some cooked chick peas, subbing sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or even strawberries for the regular tomatoes (especially since I am not going to touch store bought-out of season tomatoes,) or you could use another green, such as collards, chard, or for a kick; mustard greens. The possibilities are endless.
- ⅔ cup fine bulgur
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves finely chopped (5 cups)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
- ½ cup torn mint leaves
- ½ cup diced radish
- Black pepper, as needed
- Cook bulgur according to package instructions. Cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, shallot, cumin and salt. Whisk in olive oil.
- In a large bowl, toss together bulgur, kale, tomatoes, mint and radish. Toss in dressing. Season with black pepper and more salt if you like, and drizzle with additional oil if desired.
Here’s the thing about tabbouleh salad: Most of the ones I’ve had invert my preferred proportion of bulgur to parsley. What you usually get is a bowl of tabbouleh studded with bits of parsley. I like a salad that is mostly parsley, studded with grains of tabbouleh.
I pictured a generous ratio of green to tan, but with kale standing in for parsley. It has a hint of parsley’s pleasing bitterness, but is far milder, which means that this tabbouleh salad didn’t have to be just a side dish, one best eaten in small portions. Instead, I could eat a whole bowl of it — a dream for a raw kale devotee.