Last night was blissful here in San Francisco. In the early evening, my husband Luke and I took a stroll along The Embarcadero with Vivienne, our 11 month old, and watched the ships roll by. The sun was on our backs and the air was warm.

Once we got home, I considered what to cook for dinner. I had purchased salmon fillets at our local fish shop in the ferry building but hadn’t decided on a side dish. I decided to look in My Paris Kitchen, written by David Lebovitz, for inspiration.

David Lebovitz was visiting from Paris last fall for a book signing at Omnivore Books. I was thrilled when I heard he was coming to SF, as I’ve been reading his blog for the last several years and own The Perfect Scoop, a book he wrote that features decadent ice cream recipes. I invited my mom to come along and we had a joyous time meeting him and getting our books signed. I’ve cooked a couple of recipes from the book thus far, that turned out great, and have really enjoyed reading his personal stories.

Last night as I was flipping through the book, I found a tabbouleh recipe that sounded delicious and would complement the salmon perfectly. Once I confirmed I had the majority of the ingredients, I got to work.

Luke put Bob Marley on in the background and played with Vivienne while I chopped. And chopped. And chopped. Tabbouleh requires a ton of chopping, as David mentions in his book. I was in the zone and my biceps were burning.  Kidding.  

I didn’t have bulgur so I used quinoa instead. For some reason I had curly parsley in the fridge. So 1980’s, I know. I usually have flat-leaf parsley but didn’t and used the curly stuff instead. I also added 2 cloves of chopped garlic (to ward off evil) and half of an avocado (because it’s AVOCADO.) I wish I was a purist and could follow a recipe to a ‘T’, but I’m not, and I can’t. Well, sometimes I can. The dish turned out well. Really well. The flavors pack a punch and the texture complemented the buttery texture of the salmon. This recipe was simple to prepare, delicious and healthy.  3 thumbs up! Happy Eating!

2 tb fine bulgur wheat
2 ½ tb warm water
2 tomatoes
10 c of fresh flat leaf parsley
2 c of fresh mint
3 scallions
2/3 c olive oil
5 tb fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 ts sea salt or kosher salt
¼ ts allspice
¼ ts cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tb pomegranate molasses (optional)
Romaine lettuce to serve

-Mix the bulgur and the water in a large salad bowl and set aside to plump.
-Halve the tomatoes horizontally and squeeze out the liquid and seeds. Dice the tomatoes and set aside to drain in a colander.
-Chiffonade the parsley and mint leaves by gathering bunches of the herbs in a tight cluster with one hand, and slicing the herbs into think ribbons with a chef’s knife. (Don’t run your knife over them repeatedly, which will bruise them and make them bitter.) Add them to the bowl of bulgur along with the scallions and drained tomatoes.
-Drizzle the olive oil over the herbs with lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt, allspice, and cinnamon, along with a few grinds of pepper. Add the pomegranate molasses. Toss well and serve with crisp romaine lettuce to scoop it up.

Use quinoa instead of bulgur
Add 2 cloves of garlic
Add ½ of an avocado diced
Use curly 80’s parsley instead of flat-leaf

Oxx, (one BIG hug, two air kisses)