Tabbouleh is a healthy, rich and super-green salad with pure Lebanese origins that is known for its spicy-tangy kick. In traditional Lebanese cuisine, Tabbouleh (sometimes spelled and pronounced as Tabouli) is usually served along with Mezza which is a host of appetizers and hors-d’oeuvres.
If you’ve had Tabbouleh salad in non-Lebanese restaurants, you would be surprised that our Tabbouleh here will likely yield a different look and taste than what you’ve experienced.
Authentic Tabbouleh is greener, contains more tomatoes and much less Burghul (cracked wheat) that what restaurants typically add.
And on the topic of Burghul, if you are allergic to gluten or simply want a gluten-free version, try substituting the Burghul with Quinoa. I haven’t tried it myself, however I heard from a few folks that it’s a good gluten substitute.
Summary: This is “the” Tabbouleh recipe that mom is famous for. We hope you like it.
Tabbouleh Ingredients (7 servings)
- 4 bunches of Italian Parsley chopped finely, drained
- 1 bunch of fresh green mint chopped finely, drained
- 1 Persian cucumber chopped finely (if using regular cucumbers, use only up to 4 inches of it)
- 5 medium sized tomatoes chopped, drained
- 1 small white onion chopped finely
- 1/4 cup of fine Burghul (fine cracked wheat #1)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of quality olive oil
- 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 teaspoon of Lebanese 7-Spices*
* Lebanese 7-Spices contain equal proportions of the following ground spices: Allspice, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Ground Cloves, Ground Nutmeg, Fenugreek, Powdered Ginger
Tabbouleh Preparation Method
- Rinse all vegetables and let dry, especially the parsley and mint.
- Cut stems off parsley then chop finely. Spread chopped parsley on paper towels and let rest for a few mins in order to get rid of the moisture. Parsley needs to be dry of moisture before adding it to the mixing bowl.
- Cut stems off mint, and finely chop the leaves. Lay them on a paper towel and let dry.
- Chop tomatoes into small cubes of less than 1/2 in then place in strainer to rid them of the juice.
- Finely chop onions and mix with 7-spices.
- Finely chop the cucumber.
Serving and Tips
Once mixed, Tabbouleh gets soggy rather quickly, so it’s best if you mix it immediately before serving. Moreover, make sure that when you add the chopped veggies to the mixing bowl, that they are dry of moisture and juice otherwise your salad turns soggy. Ideally you want the juice in the salad to be mostly from the lemon juice and olive oil. Use only freshly-squeezed lemon juice. So if you want to prepare the ingredients in advance, do the chopping, then dry with strainer/paper towels, then place ingredients side by side in a bowl or deep tray (as in the photo above), and put in the fridge.
Once ready to serve, add the lemon juice on top of the dry Burghul, add the olive oil and salt all over the ingredients and then mix lightly with a fork and avoid over-mixing so it doesn’t turn soggy. Having the Tabbouleh served on a lettuce or cabbage leaf is a cool tradition.
Tabbouleh goes well with French Fries. We hope you enjoyed our recipe, and we’d love to hear your comments on it below.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern