Friday, June 25, 2010

Tabouleh, another gateway food to vegetarianism

The origins of tabouleh (spelling varies depending on transliteration system used) are decidedly Middle Eastern.  Exactly where is up for debate, although Lebanon is claiming the titile.  If a restaurant serves mezes (appetizers or small dishes), then they serve tabouleh.  Tabouleh is a lovely and refreshing salad that is perfect for the hot desert climate.  I remember as a teenager making tabouleh out of a box (gasp!).  In NYC, tabouleh is plentiful at falafel or fast food type spots that serve Middle Eastern and Israeli cuisine.  What I love about the tabouleh in the Kingdom is that the focus is more on the fresh herbs - the mint and the parsley is the star of the show and not the bulgur wheat.

Serves 8 (if you are serving it as a meze)

1/2 cup of bulgur wheat
1-cup water
2 tomatoes, diced
1-cup of fresh parsley, chopped (stems and all)
1/4-1/2 cup of fresh mint, chopped (leaves only) - optional
1/2-1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of one red onion (finely chopped) or some scallions (whites and greens, chopped)
Fresh ground black pepper
  •  Heat the water and pour it over the bulgur wheat.  Cover and let sit for 15-30 minutes.  All of the water should be absorbed and the wheat should be tender.  If it is too watery, drain the excess water.
  • Squeeze half a lemon and the olive oil into the prepared bulgur wheat, stir.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, stir.
  • Taste!  If the salad needs more acidity, add the other half of the lemon.  More olive oil can be added if necessary.

1 comment:

  1. This recipe can also be found at: