Get two cups of water boiling. Pour the dry bulgur wheat into a glass bowl. When the water comes to a boil, pour it over the bulgur, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside for 20-30 minutes.
Next prepare the lemon dressing.
Mortar the garlic cloves with about a quarter tsp of salt to a very smooth paste using a heavy mortar and pestle with a large bowl. Make certain that there are no chunks or fibrous pieces remaining. Unpleasant.
Now zest two lemons over the garlic, then squeeze all of the lemons directly into the mortar over all of this, and let it macerate while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Pull the leaves from the washed and thoroughly dried parsley, and chop medium-fine.
Now prep all of your veg and nuts:
Peel and dice the carrot into small, neat cubes, do the same for the cucumber. Dice the bell pepper and celery, again, small, uniform cubes.
Give your pistachios a rough chop.
Tear the leaves of the basil into small pieces. If you chop basil with a knife it turns black. Tearing the leaves is preferred. You want the colors of this salad to be bright.
When your bulgur has absorbed the water and become wonderfully fluffy, drain any excess water, and pop it into a large bowl. Add your veg, nuts, basil and parsley to the bowl, and season this with salt.
Now, working directly with the mortar holding the garlic and lemon juice, whisk enough olive oil into the bowl until the ratio is 2 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon until emulsified. You will know you have achieved this because the dressing will be pale yellow, smooth and opaque. Pour the lemon dressing over the contents of the bowl and toss. Taste. Season with salt if needed. And if necessary, add a little more olive oil to moisten, perhaps you need another squeeze of lemon. The salad should be glistening, and the flavor should be quite bright with good acidity.
This salad should carry well to your picnic, even when dressed beforehand.
I write. I cook. I want A&M's job! Just kidding. No, I'm not. I used to be a professional chef, and while I no longer want to be in a professional kitchen, I could never stop cooking. How cliche that I write and cook, nonetheless, the two marry quite happily and blogging fulfills both of those passions for me with an immediacy that I crave. I would love some day to do it full-time.
I have two blogs at the moment, and I'm developing a third.
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