A fresh and nutritious salad from the Lebanon
Tabbouleh (or tabouli) salad is a popular Lebanese vegetarian dish that is traditionally made from tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur, and onion, then it is seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. It’s a healthy, fresh, and nutritious meal that is love at first bite.
The origin of the word tabbouleh is from the Levantine Arabic tabbūle, which is derived from the Arabic word taabil, meaning seasoning.
If you travel through Lebanon, or neighboring countries, you will be, almost without a doubt, welcomed with a mezze – a selection of small dishes served before the main dish in Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Tabbouleh is traditionally served as part of the mezze, but it can be served as a dish all on its own. It has been popularized as a salad in authentic Arabic cuisine in Western countries, so more and more people love to eat it all on its own.
Tabbouleh salad is high in energy producing nutrients, low in fat and its light ingredients won’t leave you feeling heavy. It’s a perfect meal for long, hot summer days when you don’t want to be weighed down.
Key ingredients – parsley and bulgur
The two key ingredients in tabbouleh salad are parsley and bulgur. In the Lebanese variation of the dish (served at Muncheez), you can never have too much parsley. And while it’s tempting to prepare it in a food processor, true tabbouleh is always made with hand chopped parsley. You can actually taste the difference when tabbouleh is prepared this way.
Too much bulgur can ruin a tabbouleh. For those who are not already acquainted with bulgur, it is kernels of whole wheat that have been steamed, dried and crushed into finer particles. Since the wheat has already been cooked (with steaming and drying), it does not require additional cooking and can be popped into your tabouli immediately. To prepare a perfect tabbouleh you should use just the right amount of fine grain, otherwise the bulgur will absorb all the other flavors.
More modern variations of this dish use couscous or other grains, but a truly traditional tabouli is prepared with bulgur. That doesn’t mean that other variations don’t taste as good, simply that they are not traditional.
At Muncheez we make Tabbouleh with bulgur, a lot of parsley, fresh tomatoes, onions, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Like hummus, baba ghanouj, pita and a few other dishes originating from Arabian cuisine, tabbouleh is one of the America’s favorite “ethnic foods”.
Now, the recipe:
- ½ cup bulgur wheat
- Half a bunch of flat-leaf parsley – chopped
- 1 cup ripe tomatoes – deseeded and diced
- 3 spring onions – finely sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Olive oil, Salt & Pepper