By Christine Datian Vartanian
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 3/4 inch slices
2-3 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced thinly
1/2 cup fine bulgur, covered with boiling water for 20 minutes, drained
2 cups fresh chervil leaves, torn or coarsely chopped
3-4 Persian cucumbers, sliced or diced
1 medium white onion, finely minced
1 cup scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup each chopped fresh mint and red bell pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill
Juice of 2 or 3 lemons, lemon zest from 1 lemon
Kosher or sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, Aleppo pepper
Sprigs of fresh mint and thinly sliced scallions as garnish
Crumbled Feta or Blue cheese
Marinated black and green olives
Romaine lettuce leaves, pita bread rounds or cracker bread
Greek yogurt or lebne as garnish
Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with boiling water and a teaspoon of olive oil. Let stand for 20 minutes, drain bulgur completely, and set aside.
Slice the eggplant and brush slices with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Grill slices for 3-5 minutes on each side or until tender, turning to brown, and basting both sides. Remove slices to a plate and keep warm.
In a bowl, combine the bulgur, chervil, cucumbers, onions, scallions, mint, red bell pepper, and dill, and toss. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and toss. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and remaining spices to taste, and toss again.
On each serving plate, alternate the grilled eggplant slices with slices of tomato and the tabbouleh (stack on top of each other). Garnish stacks with sprigs of fresh mint, scallions, crumbled Feta or Blue cheese, and olives, and serve with Romaine lettuce leaves, pita bread or cracker bread.
Drizzle stacks with more olive oil and lemon juice, if desired. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or lebne and sprinkle with cayenne pepper or Aleppo pepper, if desired.
*The tabbouleh may be made a day ahead of time and chilled before serving. Check seasonings and toss tabbouleh again before serving.
*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, and athttp://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/
*For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to: http://www.myrecipes.com/search/site/Datian