Lebanese Tabbouleh: The Darling of All Mediterranean Salads!
Growing up in a very Lebanese home, Tabbouleh was and still remains the go-to salad served with our family meals. This delicious Levantine vegetarian dish, also spelled as Tabouli, gives off fresh summer flavors. It’s the absolute favorite of many and it can be eaten with kofta, shish taouk, meat, grilled chicken and it’s often served with hummus.
Why is tabbouleh healthy?
Tabbouleh has many nutritional and health benefits such as:
Bulgur: high in fiber and protein, low in fat, rich in potassium and iron.
Parsley: good source of manganese, calcium, and potassium, contains flavonoids, rich in iron, vitamin A (have vision benefits) and C, reduce the risk of diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Tomato: good source of vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium, naturally low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol, has anti-inflammatory properties and contains lycopene (an antioxidant that help reduce the risk of cancer).
Lemon juice: rich in vitamins B, C and in proteins, carbohydrates and phosphorous, good for liver cleansing and assistance in food digestion.
Olive oil: known as a heart-healthy fat due to the high quantities of oleic acid (healthy monounsaturated fat) and help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Onion: good source of vitamins and minerals and helps with cardiovascular, respiratory and cancer prevention.
Now, you can find all of these nutrients combined in a simple bowl of salad! That’s a good reason for you to give it a try once in a while.
Now, let’s jump to the recipe!
½ cup (70g) fine bulgur wheat
½ to ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons dry mint (or use 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves)
3-4 firm Roma tomatoes diced
5 green onions chopped
3 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
½ cup (120 ml) olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon salt
How to make tabbouleh?
Rinse the fine bulgur wheat in cold water, drain and set aside.
In the bottom of a large bowl, combine washed bulgur with dry mint.
Pour over the lemon juice.
Mix bulgur, mint and lemon juice well together. Making the bulgur soaked in lemon juice and not in water, will give it a distinct taste.
Add finely diced tomato over the bulgur but don’t mix them together.
Add layer of green onions on top of tomato layer.
Finely chop the parsley and add them on top of the other layers. Don’t mix anything.
Cover and refrigerate.
Before serving by 30 to an hour, take the bowl out.
Add salt and pour olive oil over (refer to the amounts in the ingredient list).
Mix everything together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Some tips to make the best tabbouleh:
Many recipes online make the tabbouleh seems like a bulgur salad, but it’s actually a parsley salad. Usually the amount of parsley has to be more than the bulgur (or the same amount if you add quinoa instead of bulgur).
For bulgur preparation, the drill is to rinse it in cold water several times and drain it. No need to soak it.
You have to make it juicy or it’ll become bitter and hard to eat. The juicier the better!
Don’t worry about the bitter taste of the parsley, when combined with other ingredients, it’ll give an explosion of freshness in your mouth.
It is best to serve tabbouleh fresh on the same day. It tastes better if refrigerated for 30 minutes to an hour before being served.
How to eat Tabbouleh:
Traditionally, we scoop or warp it in Romaine lettuce, but you can also eat it with a fork or spoon.
For gluten free: you can substitute the bulgur with quinoa, millet, amaranth or cauliflower rice.
For high protein: you can add some chickpeas, hemp seeds or other cooked beans.
Enjoy the preparation and taste of this lemony, refreshing and delicious Mediterranean dish!
Amira, 2019. Tabouli salad. Amira’s Pantry. Retrieved November 10th, 2019 from https://amiraspantry.com/tabouli-salad/
Begum, R., 2019. Tabbouleh salad (tabbouleh bites). The Delicious Crescent. Retrieved November 10th, 2019 from https://www.thedeliciouscrescent.com/tabbouleh-salad-with-pine-nuts/
For the love of hummus, 2017. Tabouli: its history and health benefits. For the Love of Hummus. Retreived November 11th, 2019 from https://fortheloveofhummus.com/tabouli-its-history-and-health-benefits/
Leech, J., 2018. 11 proven benefits of olive oil. Healthline. Retrieved November 10th, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil