A meal is just not a meal without a salad, according to those who dine in the kitchen of the Cypress Hosue. And most of the time we resort to a tossed green.

One of our very favorite salads, however, is equally as simple as a tossed salad and a delicious change from the ordinary. It’s tabooli salad, a middle eastern speciality that you can duplicate easily.

There are several variations of tabooli: some use extras such as cucumber, and last time we added a little avocado. But basically it’s cracked wheat, green onions, parsley, mint and tomatoes. Add lettuce if you choose, or just serve the tabooli on a lettuce leaf. (One nice feature is that if you don’t have lettuce, just serve it up in a bowl; it’s scrumptious!)

Tabooli salad

1 cup cracked wheat

1 bunch green onions

1 bunch fresh parsley

2 or three stems mint leaves or 3 tablespoons dried mint

2 to 4 large tomatoes

juice of four lemons

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

pinch of cinnamon

Soak wheat in cold water for about 25 minutes or until soft. Drain in fine strainer until dry.

Meanwhile chop onions, parsley, mint and tomatoes very fine. Add wheat, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Mix well and allow to sit in refrigerator several hours.

Serve on lettuce leaf, or serve with bits of torn lettuce, or serve plain.

P.S. — Dolores K. N.: I have you to thank for my tabooli recipe and we surely have put it to good use. Many thanks! LFS

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Laurin Stamm

Laurin Stamm served as the food editor of the Vicksburg Post for more than 50 years. Her weekly column, “From the Kitchen of the Cypress House,” was the catalyst for her cookbook of the same name, published in 2011 after her retirement from the newspaper. Stamm died in 2016 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease.