Tabbouleh is a Lebenese salad served cold. Its main ingredients are bulgur, raw tomato and finely chopped herbs, mint being one of them.
As tomatoes are ripening up and available in all sizes and qualities, I thought of using them as vessels instead of being part of the tabbouleh. Here I used only one tomato for color in the tabbouleh.
—Maria Teresa Jorge
Wash 6 tomatoes, cut the top off and scoop out the seeds and membranes leaving only the flesh attached to the skin. Sprinkle a little salt inside and put them on a cooling rack upside down to drain excess water.
Wash the last tomato, make a shallow cross in the bottom end with the tip of a knife. Plunge the tomato into boiling water for a few seconds, then plunge it into a bowl of iced water. Remove the cooled tomato and peel away the skin. Cut in 4 and remove the seeds. Put in a colander to drain excess water.
Chop the shallots very finely. Sautée them in a pan with 3 tbsp of olive oil until translucent. Add the bulgur, stir to coat and add the water. Bring to the boil, season with salt, lower heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
Cut the peeled tomato in very small cubes.
Put the cooled bulgur in a large bowl, add the cubed tomato, the toasted pine nuts, all the herbs minced finely, the last tbsp of olive oil, the lemon juice and season with pepper and sumac and stir. Check seasoning.
Fill the tomatoes with the tabbouleh and garnish with a herb of your choice.