Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish that has become very popular in the U.S. It is a light but hearty salad comprised of a mix of bulgur, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a lemon olive oil dressing.
Tabbouleh can be eaten as a main dish, a side dish, or even stuffed into pita bread as a sandwich. It is quick and easy to make and keeps well. It's a great picnic dish as it transports easily and is best eaten at room temperature.
Bulgur - also found as bulghur or kashi among other names - is whole grain wheat that is cracked and steamed. No chemicals are added during the steaming, nor is anything removed so the vitamins and nutrients are preserved. It is higher in fiber and lower in calories and fat than brown rice, but offers almost five times the amount of foliates as well as iron and other vitamins and nutrients.
Use bulgur in place of other starches and grains such as couscous, rice, quinoa, faro, and oats. Add it to salads, stews, soups, and pasta dishes for a new twist on your old recipes.
Parsley plays a lead role in Tabbouleh; in fact it is sometimes referred to as a parsley salad. Parsley is frequently used as a garnish in Western dishes, but the Middle East recognizes herbs as a valuable and tasty food and a terrific source of nutrients and vitamins. Two tablespoons of parsley have 155% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K! Parsley also has iron, flavanoids, folates, Vitamin C, and iron, among other benefits.
Cucumbers and tomatoes can fit right into your plan to eat seasonal foods. Get them at their tastiest and for the best prices of the year.
Feel free to adapt the recipe to your tastes. Some Tabbouleh recipes incorporate garlic, which adds another layer of flavor. Scallions are another optional ingredient. Even the proportions of tomato and cucumber can be adjusted to what you have on hand and your personal preferences.
- ½ cup bulgur wheat
- water to cover by about 1 inch
- 1 large cucumber (about 1½ cups)
- 2 - 3 tomatoes (about 1 ½ cups)
- 2 scallions
- 2 -3 cups parsley
- ½ cup mint
- juice and zest of 1 lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- ½ cup olive oil
- Rinse the bulgur in cold water
- Place it in a bowl and add cold water to cover by one inch.
- Let the bowl sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes
- Drain off any water that hasn't been absorbed.
- Place the bulgur in a serving bowl.
- Mix the zest of the lemon, the lemon juice, and salt until the salt has dissolved
- Whisk in the olive oil.
- Pour the dressing over the bulgur and toss well.
- Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and cut them into a ¼" dice.
- Peel and seed the cucumber and dice it into a 1/4" dice as well.
- Finely slice the scallions.
- Add all to the bowl with the dressed bulgur and toss.
- Remove the stems from the mint and parsley
- Chop finely.
- Add the herbs to the bowl and mix well.
- Check for seasoning and adjust as desired.
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