Spicy Southwestern Tabbouleh

¾ cup uncooked bulgur

1¼ cups boiling water

1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup vertically sliced red onion

¾ cup diced seeded tomato

½ cup sliced green onion bottoms (white part)

½ cup diced yellow bell pepper

½ cup chopped peeled avocado

¼ cup diced seeded peeled cucumber

¼ cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons diced seeded jalapeño pepper

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground red pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

teaspoon ground allspice

1 garlic clove, minced

Dash of hot pepper sauce

4 green onion tops, cut into 2-inch julienne strips (optional)

Combine bulgur, 1¼ cups boiling water and 1½ teaspoons oil in a medium bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes or until tender. Drain bulgur through a fine sieve; place bulgur in a medium bowl.

Add cilantro and next 22 ingredients (through pepper sauce); toss well. Add green onion tops, if desired.

Serves six (¾ cups each).

Cook’s note: Use prechopped vegetables from the grocery store for a fast weeknight meal. If necessary, you can even soak the bulgur overnight.

Nutrition values per serving: 212 calories, 14 g fat (2 g saturated), 21 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 5 g protein, 3 mg cholesterol, 224 mg sodium.

“Cooking Light Big Book of Salads” (Oxmoor House, 2012)

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