My very favorite (and über healthy!) dish – tabbouleh is a light and refreshing parsley salad that you will find variations of, all across the Middle East. This recipe is authentically Middle Eastern, but is somewhere between Israeli and Lebanese as I was told by my best friend’s Israeli sister-in-law. The use of cumin adds a somewhat of an earthy warmth to the flavor, but can be omitted upon preference.
The most important tip I can advise to anyone making tabbouleh is this – parsley salad – NOT bulghur salad. Every American version of tabbouleh I have ever sampled has had a far greater amount of bulghur than parsley, which is a big no-no.
I enjoy a very minuscule amount of bulghur in my tabbouleh, as I feel it is much healthier with less gluten.
Also, before you begin – wash your parsley, mint, and scallions a day before you intend to use them, and allow them to dry well. I recommend wrapping the washed produce in paper towels and then keeping them refrigerated, stored in open Ziploc bags to insure they are thoroughly dry when ready to use; if not thoroughly dry when cutting, the knife will unfavorably crush the leaves of the herbs, as well as scallions.
- 1 – 1 ½ cups of bulghur wheat
- 5 bunches of fresh parsley (preferably flat-leaf, but curly will also work)
- 2 – 3 cups of fresh mint leaves
- 5 large tomatoes, de-veined/seeds removed
- 5 cucumbers, peeled, and de-veined/seeds removed
- 3 bunches of scallions, finely chopped
- 3 – 5 lemons, juiced
- 1 ½ – 2 cups of high quality, Mediterranean olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper & cumin to taste
First begin with the bulghur, so it has plenty of time to soften and cool, before adding it in with the rest of the ingredients.
Place the dry bulghur into a glass bowl (as pictured above), and in a saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Pour hot water over bulghur until there is about an inch of excess water covering. Stir well to release some of the starch, and drain. Repeat this step once or twice more (until bulghur water rinses mostly clear), and then let sit, and soften while preparing the remaining ingredients.
As you can see, I am using curly parsley here. When using curly parsley, I remove the leaves from the stems. This is a long labor of love, but well worth the effort!
Roll parsley into a bundle, and chop as finely as you can, preferably without injuring yourself
like I often do.
When the parsley is chopped, transfer to a large bowl.
This beautiful mint was picked from our organic garden!
In the same way we chopped the parsley, you are going to repeat with the mint, by rolling into a bundle, and then slicing into thin pieces.
Et, voilà. Add freshly chopped mint in with parsley, and stir lightly.
Cut off the browned tips of the green scallion tops, as well as the bottom roots.
Finely slice the scallions, like so ( large chunks of onion are not desirable in this dish), and combine with parsley and mint; toss lightly to evenly combine.
Cut the tomatoes in half (as show in above picture), and remove the seeds (this is easiest done using a clean finger).
Dice the tomatoes in to tiny pieces, and combine with parsley, mint, and scallions.
Juice the lemons over a clean, empty bowl, and remove any seeds. Pour the lemon juice into the large mixing bowl, and combine well.
Check bulghur, and make sure it has completely cooled. If it is still warm, you can either place it in the refrigerator for 20 – 30 minutes, or place in the freezer for about 10 – 15 minutes. When cooled, combine and stir well.
Add in the olive oil, which should thoroughly coat all of the other ingredients. If the tabbouleh seems dry, add more oil, and lemon juice to taste.
Salt well, and add black pepper to taste.
And, that’s it!
Additionally, tabbouleh can be served with, or on romaine lettuce leaves, and garnished with tomato wedges. Cumin can also be added, if desired.
So I hope you enjoy, and let me know if you try making!
Bon appétit, beauties!