Tabbouleh is a healthy Lebanese salad and the most popular cold meze (a variety of appetizers that precede the main course). Tabbouleh is made up of bulgur (groats of durum wheat), chopped and mint leaves, diced tomatoes and onions, and varying kinds of spices depending on local preferences. The ingredients are topped with a fresh lemon olive dressing and a pinch of salt.
This fresh salad is a fantastic delight for the tastes, and it’s easy to make with variations that suit all kinds of diets. Today I’ll be sharing with you my mm’s special minimalist Tabbouleh recipe.
Lebanese cold mezeAn example of hot mezeTabbouleh with a modern twist
Ingredients for four
- 4 bunches parsley (about 2 cups chopped)
- half a bunch of fresh mint (you can substitute with dried mint)
- 2 large or 3 medium ripe but firm tomatoes (you can add more or less according to taste)
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon of sumac
- 1/3 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (or more according to taste)
- A pinch of salt according to taste
- 1/4 cup of bulgur (if you are celiac or have gluten intolerance, you can substitute bulgur with double-rinsed and strained quinoa or millet).
- Wash and dry the vegetables thoroughly.
- Finely dice the onion.
- Place the onion in a large serving bowl and add lemon juice, sprinkle allspice, sumac, and salt on top of the chopped onions.
- Allow the onion, lemon and spices to sit so that the onion juice mixes with the dressing (this is where the magic happens).
- Meanwhile, Finely dice the tomatoes, and chop the parsley and the mint very finely.
- Add the bulgur, quinoa or millet to onion mix.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
Serve Tabbouleh over a bed of lettuce leaves and decorate with some leaves of Fresh mint.
Some local variations include adding black pepper, paprika, or sour pomegranate.
Tabbouli is the best salad, but still, you don’t win friends with salad
– Richard Dreyfuss, comedian
Sousou’s tips for the best Tabbouleh
- Fine Chopping: Show off your chopping skills here by finely chopping all the greens. DO NOT USE a food processor.
- Use fine bulgur instead of the coarse variety. Bulgur does not require cooking because it soaks up the Tabbouleh juices.
- If you’re using boiled quinoa, make sure to rinse it twice to remove the bitter aftertaste and strain it well.
- Finely dice the onions and tomatoes. You want your tomatoes to be ripe but firm, so they don’t release too much juice.
- If the tomato is too ripe, core it and discard the interior to remove excess moisture.
Cuisine Culture Lebanese Food Tabboule