Near the end of summer, cucumbers are abundant. If you have a garden or have friends who garden, you will no doubt be looking for ways to use them up. This recipe is great for turning your overstock of cukes into a refreshing, colourful side dish that can easily double for a light lunch. It has a lot in common with a traditional tabouleh, but I’ve added just a couple of dates to give it a touch of sweetness. It certainly is reminiscent of the Middle East, with prominent hits of lemon and mint, and the light sprinkling of citrus-y sumac leaves.
Cucumber and Bulgur Wheat Salad
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 2 pitted, chopped dates
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup coarse bulgur wheat
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 2 to 3 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded
- 2 to 3 large red radishes
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sumac
- fresh parsley and mint leaves
- Add bulgur wheat to a small mixing bowl and pour enough boiling water over the grain to just cover. Let stand for 30 minutes, until needed.
- Chop cucumber and pepper, and slice radishes thinly. Add vegetables to a large bowl.
- When bulgur wheat has soaked for about 25 minutes, add sunflower seeds and salt to the chopped vegetables and toss.
- Blend dressing ingredients together in a food processor or with a blender.
- Squeeze excess water, if any, from the bulgur wheat and add to the chopped vegetables.
- Pour dressing over all salad ingredients and toss together.
- Arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with sumac, parsley and mint leaves.