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Bulgur salad on hearts of romaine

Serves 6

In ''Zov: Recipes and Memories From the Heart," California restaurateur Zov Karamardian writes that in the Middle East and North Africa, this tomato and bulgur salad, scooped onto crisp romaine leaves, is a typical village dish.

1/4cup olive oil
2large onions, finely chopped
1can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1cup hot water
2cups number 1 or fine bulgur
3tablespoons lemon juice
2teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 1/2teaspoons black pepper, or to taste
2tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
6scallions, trimmed and chopped
1cup chopped fresh mint
1cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1package romaine lettuce hearts (3 large hearts)
1. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil and cook the onions, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until softened.

2. Stir in the tomato sauce, paste, and hot water until smooth. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the bulgur, cover the skillet, and set the pan aside, without opening the lid, for 10 minutes. The bulgur should have absorbed all the liquid.

3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and leave to cool.

4. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper, tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, scallions, mint, and parsley. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

5. Core the lettuce hearts and separate the leaves. Spoon the bulgur onto a large platter and surround with the leaves.

Adapted from ''Zov: Recipesand Memories From the Heart"

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