Tuna Taboulleh Salad

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Makes

4 to 4 servings

The tuna and chick peas turn this Lebanese salad into a very cool main dish. Serve with fresh pita bread and exotic belly-dancing music.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 tomatoes , diced
  • 3 green onions , chopped
  • 1 carrot , shredded
  • 1/2 cup parsley , chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint , chopped (or omit the mint and use all parsley)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice , (preferably fresh)
  • 2 garlic cloves , (more or less; you decide), squished
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 540-mL can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
  • 1 184-g can tuna , drained and flaked
  • 1 cucumber , thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Measure the bulgur wheat into a large mixing bowl; add the boiling water and stir. Let it sit, absorbing the water, while you prepare the rest of ingredients – or at least 15 minutes. Bulgur wheat doesn’t require any further cooking – it’s sort of like a Middle Eastern version of Minute Rice.
  • Chop, slice and shred the tomatoes, green onions, carrot, parsley and mint. Combine in a large bowl. Now, with the help of your younger assistant, mix together the dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, gently toss the chick peas and the tuna with about – cup (50ml) of the dressing. Set it aside, too. By this time, the bulgur should be finished plumping. Line a strainer or a colander with a dish towel, dump the bulgur into it and, twisting the corners of the towel together, squeeze out as much of the water as you can. (This is sort of gruesomely organic procedure that makes cooking so much fun!) The bulgur should come out fluffy and soft, but not too soggy. Add to the vegetable mixture in the large bowl. Stir in the remaining dressing and toss well.
  • Now, to serve: Mound the taboulleh mixture on a large platter or bowl volcano-style and, with a spoon, form a crater in the middle. Scoop the chick pea-tuna mixture into this depression. Decorate your fabulous creation with cucumber slices and serve.