My own Hummus and Tabouleh

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve made these 2 Middle Eastern specialties. I grew up with tabouleh and hummus has been a standard on my table for decades.  For Penny Thompson, an Anderson Township, Cincinnati, reader, who wanted to make both of these. As I always say, go to taste – nothing was measured back in the day….
Rita’s Family’s Hummus
After you make this, taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
1 can, 15 oz, chick peas, drained and rinsed and drained again
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons Tahini(sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
Cumin to taste – start with a teaspoon
Plain full fat yogurt to taste  (I like Yoplait organic)
Olive oil for drizzling on top (opt)
Mash chickpeas by hand or in food processor until of desired smoothness.  Add everything else and blend well.  Serve with toasted pita wedges, raw veggies and a bowl of Mediterranean olives or crusty bread.  Store, covered, in refrigerator up to a week. 
This is my winter version when I can’t get veggies from my garden.
Traditionally this is served with wild grapevine leaves to act as a scoop, or leaf lettuce, or flat bread.  This is a real “go to taste” recipe.  So taste as you go along.
1 cup bulghur wheat
Grape or cherry tomatoes – about 1-1/2 containers, cut into 4ths or so
3-4 green onions, chopped or more to taste
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch radishes, chopped (optional)
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1-2 teaspoons cumin, or to taste
Several sprigs mint leaves, chopped (opt)
Several sprigs basil leaves, chopped (opt)
Salt and pepper to taste 
3-4 tablespoons olive or other oil, or to taste
Squeeze or 2 of fresh lemon juice, to taste  
Place wheat in bowl and rinse under cool water three times.  Leave about ½” water after the third rinse on top of the wheat to soften it.  Let sit for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Squeeze to drain any remaining liquid out.
Meanwhile, mix your vegetables:
Add all vegetables in large bowl, mixing gently.  Add cumin, mint, basil and salt and pepper.  Add wheat, and mix well.  Add oil, a little at a time, and mix.  Taste for seasonings.  Add lemon juice if desired.  

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