What salad is as good for your breath as it is for your waistline? Tabbouleh! Tabbouleh (also known as tabbouli) is a Middle Eastern staple, and one of the most popular and recognizable salads in the U.S. now as well. In most upscale supermarkets tabbouleh can cost up to 8 bucks a pound, but you can make it in your own home with fresh organic ingredients at a fraction of the cost. This salad is great not only alone, but as a filling in sandwiches paired with hummus, yogurt or falafel. The most labor intensive part is chopping the parsley. I don’t recommend putting the parsley in a food processor as you will get a soup rather than a salad.
Burgul wheat, or cracked wheat, adds a nutty flavor to the salad, and you can find it in the bulk bins of your supermarket. Burgul is sometimes sold by number, like 1,2,3. This just shows the size of the grain, and for tabbouleh you want the smaller sized grain, preferably size 1 or 2.
You will also notice that this recipe calls for Persian cucumber. Persian cucumbers are smaller and thinner than traditional cucumbers. They also have far less seeds which work great for tabbouli, because the seeds are more watery and can make your salad more watery too. Palestinians use cucumbers for this salad, while the Lebanese do not. I find the cucumbers add a nice crunch, and the more veggies, the better. A lot of store bought tabbouleh is heavy on the burgul, but traditional tabbouleh is less starchy and has a higher ratio of parsley. In other words it is a low carb salad!
My favorite memory as a child was my family driving us up to Napa in the summer time for swimming and picnics (as San Francisco summers were freezing). All we needed was barbeque chicken, tabbouleh and watermelon and we were all set for a full day of swimming and sun. As usual, here is my video tutorial. If you like what you see please hit the “like button” either on youtube or Facebook and I will keep the videos comin!
INGREDIENTS (INSTRUCTIONS IN VIDEO ABOVE)
- 1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 sprigs mint, chopped
- 1 Persian cucumber, chopped finely
- ½ purple onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup burgul or cracked wheat
- Juice of two lemons
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Cover the burgul wheat with the lemon juice, set aside and let soak for two hours or until wheat is soft. You can even soak the burgul overnight. Combine parsley, tomatoes, onions, mint, and cucumber. Add cracked wheat and lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Combine and serve immediately.