What makes this tabouli special is the singed tomatoes—they add a juicy dimension and a hint of char to this otherwise supremely fresh assembly of very-good-for-you ingredients. The key to great tabouli is loads of fresh herbs. If you have a giant bunch of parsley or mint, add more than called for here! I love the crunch and roasted taste the sunflower seeds add to this classic Middle Eastern dish. You can also make this with quinoa instead of bulgur for a gluten-free version. Increase the amount of water to 1 cup and cook the quinoa for an extra 10 minutes, stirring midway through cooking.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 3 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra as needed
- ¾ cup bulgur
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ½ small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 large cucumber, finely chopped (peeled or unpeeled)
- 0.66 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives or scallions
- Juice of ½ lemon, plus extra as needed
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons roasted, salted sunflower seeds
- 1. Adjust an oven rack to the top position and preheat the broiler to high.
- 2. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Turn the tomatoes out onto a rimmed sheet pan and broil until they start to blacken in spots, about 8 minutes (watch the tomatoes closely as broiler intensities vary). Remove the sheet pan and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
- 3. Wearing oven mitts, pull the oven rack out partway, place the sheet pan on it, and carefully stir the bulgur and boiling water into the tomatoes; spread the mixture out evenly. Cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil (you may need 2 sheets), crimping it tightly around the edges to seal. Bake until the bulgur absorbs all (or nearly all) the liquid, about 10 minutes (carefully peek under a corner of the foil to check). Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside, covered, for 10 minutes.
- 4. Place the red onion in a small bowl and toss with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Set it aside. 5. Scrape the bulgur mixture into a large bowl and fluff it with a fork. Add the salted red onion, cucumber, parsley, mint, chives, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to combine and taste, adjusting the flavor with more lemon juice or salt if needed. Serve sprinkled with sunflower seeds.