What is Tabbouli salad ?
Tabbouli is a Middle Eastern bulgur wheat salad which is served cold and is a great substitute for your regular starchy side-dish .It needs to chill at least an hour before serving so all the flavors blend together.
Tabbouli is a very popular salad in the Middle East but it made it’s way to Europe and America. Tabbouli is a traditionally vegetarian salad hailing from Lebanon. It’s chock from full of super fresh herbs like mint and parsley ,tomatoes,bulgur (an ancient grain) and a good olive oil. It’s got everything you need ,fresh bright flavors.
The main ingredient of Tabbouli is parsley .The health benefits of parsley have been well documented. For example,boiled parsley reduced inflammation,reduce gas and increased milk production for breastfeeding mothers.The water from boiled parsley also is used in the Middle East ti wash one’s face to clear up acne and make skin radiant.parsley also is full of antioxidants,iron ,potassium,folic acid and fiber. After eating garlic or onions,eating raw parsley will reduce bad breath.there are two kinds of parsley -curly and flat . Flat parsley also called Italian,and it has stronger and more robust flavor.
What is bulgur ?
Middle Eastern in origin ,this ancient grain is chewy ,and absorbs flavor like crazy . It’s high in fiber and low calorie which some of you may be into .It cooks down similarly to rice but adds great dimension to this dish .
Other ingredients in Tabbouli salad :
Olive oil : we want a nice neutral tasting oil in our salad .
Lemon juice : Fresh is best ,usually we’re using the juice of two lemons.
Seasoning : salt and pepper to taste
Onion : white or yellow or springs onions,something that cooks down well
Parsley : Fresh chopped up nice and fine
Tomato: Roma or cherry tomato but ripe and firm .
Some optional ingredients in Tabbouli salad :
Mint (optional) : fresh is better
Cucumber (optional) : chopped well
Feta : crumbled up nice and fine .
Olives: Kalamata olives pitted and sliced up .
Pita bread : tasty Lebanese bread
Avocado ,Quinoa and Couscous instead of bulgur.
How to make Tabbouli salad :
1 cup uncooked bulgur
3/4 cup chopped cucumber
3/4 cup tomato
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup sliced green onions or 2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic , finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Prepare bulgur according to package directions for starting with one cup of uncooked bulgur and the recommended amount of water for recostituting this dry volume . The directions will tell you how long to let the bulgur set to absorb the water and become softer .
After the bulgur is ready ,mix together bulgur ,cucumber,tomato,parsley,mint ,onions,and garlic .
In a separate bowl,whisk together olive oil and lemon juice . Combine with the other ingredients ,mixing well .
Refrigerate and let chill for 2 hours before serving for the flavors to meld .
Season with salt and pepper ,to taste ,before serving .
Tips for making a better Tabbouli salad:
Before chopping parsley and mint ,wash in a colander held under running water .Spin dry in a salad spinner or roll in paper towels to dry .
Get more juice from the lemon by rolling it gently an a flat surface to loosen the membranes.
You can use quinoa in place of the bulgur wheat for a gluten free version.
My favorite way to serve this is to make pita wraps by adding a bit of everything from the plate .
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Tabbouli stores well and tastes as good or better the second day . Exact amount of ingredients aren’t necessary…so don’t worry if you have slightly too much parsley,not enough cucumbers ,an extra tablespoon or so of lemon juice and so on .