It was one of those days when you don’t feel like making one more trip to the store. You know you can pull something together with what’s on hand, so why not use up some of the food already in the house? Ok, there’s shrimp in the freezer. And there’s that Tupperware container you filled with bulgur months ago and never touched. You’ve always wanted to make your own tabouleh and you’ve even got the fresh mint growing outside, not to mention the excess of parsley in the fridge crying out for attention. What, what’s that you say parsley?
“I’m so misunderstood. I’m always just tossed to the sidelines as a garnish. I’m never the feature player.”
Well, not tonight. Parsley takes a center role in tabouleh, a bulgur salad. I’ve typically eaten it with Middle Eastern foods like hummus and dolmades, but here it serves as a light, nutritious and delicious accompaniment to the herb and garlic-seasoned shrimp.
First the shrimp:
For two people, I used twelve large raw shrimp. Defrost the shrimp and toss them in a bowl with 2 T. olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 2 T. chopped fresh thyme (or whatever fresh herb you like – oregano, rosemary, dill), a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes, a little salt and a little pepper.
Soak wooden skewers in water for a few minutes, or use metal skewers. On a grill that’s been preheated, cook each side of the shrimp about four or five minutes, turning once.
Now the tabouleh:
This makes plenty for two people, if using it as the main side dish and starch. It would easily serve four people, whose appetites are more restrained than ours. (I guess that’s a euphemism for “We ate too much.”)
3/4 cup bulgur (I bought it in bulk at the local health food store)
2 cups water
Boil the bulgur in the water for about a half hour. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out as much water as you can and put the bulgur into a bowl.
Into the bowl with the bulgur add the following:
1 large bunch of parsley that’s been cleaned and finely minced (comes to about 1/2 cup when minced)
1 clove garlic, minced
5 or 6 scallions, chopped finely
1 tomato, seeded and diced finely
a couple of sprigs of mint, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T. olive oil
Mix everything together and it’ll look like this: