Classic Tabbouleh Salad—a.k.a. tabouli—is made with cracked wheat bulgur, parsley, tomatoes, and a bright garlic mint dressing. Feel free to play around with the proportions, especially the various vegetables. I've been known to make this with no tomatoes when fresh, ripe ones were not to be had, or thrown in much more parsley (I'm talking three big bunches) for a greener salad. And if you want to add chickpeas or feta cheese or chopped red pepper, I'm certainly not going to stop you.
- Put the bulgur in a medium bowl and sprinkle it with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water, cover, and let sit 20 minutes.
- While the bulgar sits, whirl the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender (or, pulse the garlic in a food processor until minced, then add the olive oil and lemon juice). Add the mint leaves, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Whirl until the mint leaves are well worked into the dressing and the dressing is more or less smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
- Pick the parsley leaves from the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Core, seed, and chop the tomatoes. Peel, seed, and chop the cucumber (removing the seeds from the cucumber will keep the final salad from becoming too watery and also mitigates any bitterness than can develop in cucumber seeds).
- Check the bulgar. After 20 minutes it should have absorbed all of the water, but there may be a bit in the bottom of the bowl. Either drain the bulgur in a fine-mesh sieve or lift it out with a slotted spoon and into a separate bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the bulgur and toss to combine well. Add the parsley and toss to combine well. Add the tomatoes and cucumber and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve, up to overnight. If you do chill the salad, know that it will taste a bit better and brighter if you let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving to take off some of the chill. I'll also add that if you want to make it ahead, you can also wait and chop and add the tomatoes at the last minute—time in the fridge is never their friend!