Bulgur and tomatoes are the main components of this popular Middle Eastern summer salad. Eat it as the Lebanese do, scooping it up with romaine leaves instead of a fork. Alternatively, capture mouthfuls with wedges of pita bread. Tabbouleh is best when made at least 1 day in advance of serving so that the flavors have time to develop.
3/4 cup medium-fine bulgur
1 cup fresh lemon juice, or as needed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
8 green onions, including tender green portions, diced
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
4 large, ripe tomatoes, diced
1 English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and diced
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 head romaine lettuce, leaves separated, or 3 pita bread rounds, heated and cut into wedges
Place the bulgur on the bottom of a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1 cup lemon juice, the olive oil and garlic and drizzle over the bulgur. In the following order, layer the green onions, parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumber on top of the bulgur. Season the top layer with 1 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the 1/4 tsp. pepper and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.
Bring to room temperature and toss together. Taste and season with the remaining 1 tsp. salt and more lemon juice, if needed. Serve with the romaine leaves or warmed pita bread.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Small Plates, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1998).