Tabouli (Tabbouleh)

Tabbouleh (Tabouli)

Tabbouleh (Tabouli)

By Cat, May 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I first had Tabouli at one of Portland’s many Lebanese restaurants, and was hooked. I started making it at home based on the tastes I’d noted in the restaurants’ versions. But I’ve since lost that recipe, so I’m starting over. There are no Lebanese restaurants here in NW Montana, so I went online, and adapted the two best recipes I found.

The basic ingredients are bulgur (sprouted or roasted cracked wheat, spelt or farro), onion, parsley, tomato, and a simple Mediterranean dressing. Recipes vary by relative amounts of the ingredients, by the herbs and spices in the dressing, and by additional ingredients.

  • Includes: 1. Tabouli Version 1 (from The Vegetarian Times Cookbook (1)); 2. Tabouli Version 2 (from DedeMed (2));
  • See also: 1Bulgur & Bulgur Flour (About)2. Middle-Eastern Menu3. Salads Menu; or search ‘Tabouli” for  several other Tabouli-based recipes on this site
  • Other Sites: 1. About.com: Middle Eastern Food (3); 2. Gluten Free Hippie: Sprouted Buckwheat Tabbouleh (4)

About ingredients

All herbs and veggies should be organic or grown without pesticides, and should be very fresh.  Grown in your own garden is always best.

You can use bulgur made from wheat, kamut or spelt; however, I’m not sure how much water to use, to soften spelt bulgur (since spelt is water soluble, less should be needed), but after it has absorbed all it can, you can drain off what remains.  I recommend using fine (as opposed to coarse) bulgur, if you can find it.  Tabouli can also be made with couscous (a type of pasta) or quinoa (a grain-like seed that has a bulgur-like texture after cooking). Couscous is the least nutritious choice; quinoa is best if sprouted before cooking; bulgur is best if sprouted before cracking.

Tabouli Version I

This version, adapted from The Vegetarian Times Cookbook (1), serves 2 or more. Parsley, mint and onion can be chopped in advance, and stored in refrigerator; tomatoes should be freshly chopped.  Mix salad and dressing right before serving.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Salad
  • ¼  cup + 2 Tbsp boiling filtered water
  • ¼ cup bulgur (wheat, Kamut ©, farro or spelt)
  • ½ – 1 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp minced mint leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup minced green onion (or shallot or red onion)
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • Dressing
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • ½ – 1 tsp Unrefined sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Equipment
  • bowl
  • serving bowl

Method:

  1. PrepPour boiling water over bulgur in bowl.  Cover and let stand about 20 minutes, until bulgur is tender and water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare veggies: Mince parsley and optional mint leaves together; a special wooden bowl and rocking knife, make easy work of this task. Mince onion and dice tomato
  3. Dressing: Squeeze lemon juice; combine with oil, salt, and pepper by shaking in small jar or whisking in a bowl.
  4. Salad: When bulgur is tender, drain off any remaining water, then add prepared veggies and toss to mix.  Pour dressing over; toss again.
  5. Chill before serving.

Testing 5/9/09:  Delicious, but I used the original amount of 1 tsp sea salt in the dressing; it is just a tad salty  Next time, I’d start with ½ tsp and add more if necessary. Also, I used grape tomatoes, because they were the only ripe tomatoes I could find; they were perfect in the salad.  I only had to halve or quarter them (and removed the seeds).

Tabouli Version II

This version, with video, is adapted from DedeMed (2), and serves 4 or more. The ratio of parsley to burger is much greater for this version, than the previous one; otherwise they are very similar

Parsley, mint and onion can be chopped in advance, and stored in refrigerator; tomatoes should be freshly chopped.  Mix salad and dressing right before serving.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Salad
  • ¾ cup boiling filtered water
  • ½  cup bulgur (wheat, kamut ©, farro or spelt)
  • 4 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 – 6 green onions, chopped (or shallot)
  • small onion, coarse-chopped
  • 3 sprigs mint leaves, chopped (optional)
  • 2 – 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • Dressing
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2 – 3 lemons (freshly squeezed)
  • ½ – 1 tsp Unrefined sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper or cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Equipment
  • bowl
  • knife

Method

  1. Prep: Pour boiling water over bulgur in bowl.  Cover and let stand about 20 minutes, until bulgur is tender and water is absorbed. Drain off any excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare veggies: Chop parsley; a wooden bowl and rocking knife, make easy work of this task. Chop fresh mint (or chop with parsley). Chop onion and green onion; and dice tomato
  3. Dressing: Squeeze lemon juice; combine with oil, salt, and pepper by shaking in small jar or whisking in a bowl.
  4. Salad: When bulgur is tender, add prepared veggies and dried mint; toss to mix.  Pour dressing over; toss again.
  5. Chill before serving.

Assembly or Serving ideas, for Tabouli

  • Spoon into attractive serving bowl; garnish with extra mint leaves.
  • Spoon into ‘cups’ of iceberg lettuce or crisp hearts of romaine.

References:

  1. The Vegetarian Times Cookbook (veganconnection.com/recipes/tabouli.htm)
  2. DedeMed.com video (youtube.com/watch?v=4Lv5qsc5muY)
  3. About.com Middle Eastern Food video (video.about.com/mideastfood/Tabouli.htm)
  4. Sprouted Buckwheat (Kaska) Tabouli (glutenfreehippie.com/2008/02/sprouted-buckwheat-tabbouleh.html_
  5.  A Passion For Vegetables, by Vera Gewanter (see Beloved Cookbooks for more about this book)
  6. The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two by Anna Thomas (see Beloved Cookbooks for more about this book)

About Cat

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