Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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Whatever is simmered in grape syrup
takes on the flavor of the grape
— whether carrots or apples,
quinces or walnuts,
you will find the flavor of grape within.
When your knowledge
is simmered in light,
contentious ones will gain light
from your knowledge.
Bulgur Salad
Total time: 2-½+ hours
Preparation time: ½ hour
Chilling: 2+ hours
3 cups bulgur
2 cups seeded and finely diced cucumber
2 tsp. salt
3 cups seeded and chopped tomatoes
3 cups finely sliced scallions
2 cups finely chopped parsley
½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. hot paprika
½-¾ cup lemon juice
½-¾ cup olive oil
Romaine lettuce leaves
Pita wedges
Black olives
Tomato wedges
Cucumber slices
Bell pepper slices

Put the bulgur in a large bowl, cover it with cold water and let it soak for 30 minutes while you prepare the vegetables. Put the diced cucumber into a sieve, sprinkle it with 2 tsp. salt, and let the excess juice drain away.

After 30 minutes, rinse off the cucumbers and set aside. Drain the bulgur, then return it to the bowl. Line the sieve with a clean, lint-free dish towel, put the bulgur back into the sieve, and squeeze out any excess water. Return the bulgur to the bowl again. Mix in the tomatoes, scallions, cucumber, parsley and mint, then sprinkle in the salt and paprika. Mix in ½ cup each of lemon juice and olive oil, then taste and add a little more oil or lemon juice to taste.

Refrigerate the tabbouleh for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally, to allow the bulgur to absorb the oil and lemon juice. Adjust the flavorings again, then turn out onto a serving platter and surround the salad with romaine leaves and pita wedges. If you wish, you may also garnish the tabbouleh with olives, tomato wedges, and slices of cucumber and bell pepper.