Tabouli Salad (Taboula)
Many Middle Eastern dishes have one thing in common; can you guess what that is? Each Middle Eastern nationality claims that they are the ones that came up with the recipe in question. However, there seems to be an exception when it comes to tabouli. Most Middle Eastern nationalities agree that the Lebanese get the credit for this delicious bulgar salad. Assyrians do pronounce the name differently, however. We call it “taboula” instead of “tabouli.”
These days you’ll find many tabouli variations. All you have to do is a quick search on Pinterest (some with bulgur and some with other grains, like quinoa). However, the traditional method includes bulgur, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions, with a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing. My version has equal parts of parsley and lettuce. In my opinion, too much parsley can be overpowering. I also love the addition of mint, which introduces a freshness that’s hard to resist.
The Best Tabouli I Ever Had
In our family, my sister, Beni, has always been known for making the best taboula. Some of my fondest memories are of my yearly visits with her in Chicago. On those warm Chicago nights, we sit in her backyard, sipping her equally delicious margaritas, while lightening bugs light up the night. Beni always serves her taboula as Mezza (appetizer) to go along with the margaritas. Tabouli is usually served as “mezza” or “appetizer,” along with other dishes like Hummus, Dilled Fava Beans, and Arayes. I can’t think of a better way of wrapping up a perfect Chicago Summer night!
Tabouli is filling enough to eat by itself, or maybe with a side of hummus and pita bread (for the vegetarians out there). It also goes great as a side to meat dishes such as Juicy Shish Kabob, goat kabobs, and Sumac Chicken.
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A very healthy and tasty Lebanese salad made with bulgur, plenty of yummy veggies, and a delicious, tangy dressing.
- 3/4 cups fine bulgur
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 medium tomatoes diced
- 4 scallions diced
- 1 medium cucumber diced
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 cup Italian parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
- 1 jalapeno minced (optional)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- Add bulgur to a medium-sized bowl. Pour warm water over the bulgur and soak for 20 minutes. Most of the water will be absorbed, but squeeze handfuls of bulgur over a strainer, to remove any additional moisture. Place in the fridge until completely cooled.
Meanwhile, chop/mince the vegetables and herbs, and add to a medium-sized bowl. Once the bulgur has cooled off, mix in with the vegetables and herbs. Whisk the dressing ingredients, and pour over the vegetable mixtures. Gently mix the salad ingredients, and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.