Tabbouleh is a Levantine herb salad mainly consisting of chopped fresh parsley, tomatoes, mint, onions, and soaked bulgur. The dressing used in a Tabbouleh salad is a simple mixture of Olive oil and lemon juice seasoned with salt. In many Arab cultures Tabbouleh is usually served as part of a Mezze.
The ratio of parsley to bulgur in a tabbouleh salad varies from region to region. In a Lebanese tabbouleh the parsley is the star ingredient, not bulgur whereas Turkish and Armenian variations of the salad use surplus amount of bulgur and less parsley.
I experimented with a few recipes and preferred the ones that called for more parsley than bulgur. I love how the mild bitter taste of fresh parsley adds a new flavour profile making Tabbouleh stand out from other leafy salads. Regardless of the ratio of parsley to bulgur, this is an extremely easy and refreshing summer salad. Tabbouleh is usually enjoyed scooped up in hearts of Romanian lettuce or directly with a fork. This super fresh, zesty salad pairs extremely well with grilled meats.
Curley Leaf Parsley or Flat Leaf Parsley? While flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavor, curly-leaf parsley gives the salad volume and has a texture better suited for salads. Having said that, I use whatever variety is easily available to me. To prevent the parsley leaves from wilting, wash them in cold water and dry them well in a salad spinner. I usually wash parsley a day in advance to prevent ending up with a wet wilted salad.
- Fine Bulgur Wheat 1/4 cup
- Parsley 3 cups; finely chopped
- Mint leaves 1/4 cup
- Firm Tomatoes 2; flesh removed
- Green Onions 3-4 stalks; both white and green part finely chopped
- Lemon Juice 1/4 to 1/2 cup; to taste
- Olive Oil 1/4 cup
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Start by making the salad dressing. Combine lemon juice salt and olive oil in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Add bulgur to the dressing and let it soak for around 15 minutes or until it is soft and plumped.
Combine finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, green onions and mint leaves in a bowl. Tabbouleh is a labour of love, so utilise your knife skills and chop all the salad ingredients really fine. Mix in bulgur soaked in dressing and gently toss to combine. I prefer adding the dressing a few minutes before serving to prevent wilting or discoloration of parsley due to lemon juice. Serve Tabbouleh at room temperature or chilled.