Perfect Summer Salad

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My staple during this hot Turkish summer has been kisir, what some call Turkish Tabbouleh. It’s not really a salad, but it makes the perfect cold side for stuffed peppers or karniyarik (another Turkish dish I’m making a lot lately).

I learned this recipe from my maid, but you can also find a perfectly good version in Claudia Roden’s Arabesque. Her book shows kisir served in traditionally in lettuce leaves, but you can easily leave it in a bowl if you feel like skipping the presentation.

Kisir (Turkish Tabbouleh)

2 c. köftelik (small grain) bulgur
4 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
2 green onions, sliced
2 long green peppers (such as cubanelle – not bell), seeded and chopped small
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
1/4 c. mint, chopped
1/4 c. dill, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp. tomato paste (or red pepper paste, if you can find it)
juice from one lemon
1/2 tsp. cumin
boiling water
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)

Place bulgur in a large, tempered bowl. Pour enough boiling water over the bulgur to cover, then cover the bowl.

Meanwhile, chop all of your vegetables and and prepare your measurements. Once the bulgur has softened and absorbed all of the water (about 10 to 15 minutes), massage the tomato paste, cumin and lemon juice into the bulgur with your hands. Next, add the vegetables and herbs to the bulgur mixture. Add salt, pepper, and/or red pepper flakes to taste.

Enjoy your kisir!

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