Tabbouleh (Middle Eastern Herb Salad)
1/3 cup bulgur (cracked wheat, medium-grind)
1 cup curly parsley leaves, packed, very finely minced (about 1/3 cup, minced)
2 Tbsp. minced chives
2 Tbsp. minced fresh mint or basil
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and very finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp. really good olive oil
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with warm water; let sit 15 to 20 minutes, until it is al dente, like pasta. (You want to maintain a slightly firm, toothy texture; the bulgur will continue to soften after you've made the tabbouleh.) Drain the bulgur in a fine sieve and squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands. Place prepared bulgur in a bowl and fluff it with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and use a spatula to fold the ingredients gently together. Like most such dishes, this gets better over a couple of hours as the flavors meld.
Serve as a side dish to grilled chicken or fish, or as a topping for wedges of warm pita bread. Add diced cooked chicken to make a main-dish salad.