Tabbouleh is one of the healthiest recipes one can think of. It is light yet nourishing, it is fresh yet absolutely delicious. Bulgur, parsley, and mint are, along with lemon, the essential elements of tabbouleh. It is one of the Lebanese recipes everyone should try making at home.
What is Tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern meal, basically, a salad that can be served as a main dish or as a side dish to more protein-based meals such as meat or fish. This colorful salad is full of vitamins thanks to the vegetables, mostly, thanks to the parsley. Did you know that parsley has a higher concentration of vitamin C than the lemon? Also, parsley is known to carry more iron than spinach, and more fluoride than any other food. At the same time, it is very rich in fiber and nutritional thanks to its other important ingredient – the bulgur.
It has a refreshing taste due to the presence of mint and lemon juice. It is mostly everything one can want and expect from a salad. Tabbouleh is considered one of the perfect meals to feed everyone, even for those who watch the scale.
Ingredients for Tabbouleh
Considering that it is a recipe originated in the Middle East, the ingredients are very rich in taste and aroma. Each of the ingredients does their part of adding its own “touch” to the salad. In my version of the Tabbouleh salad, one can find a mesmerizing blend of tastes. The little changes were made along time to fulfill the taste of everyone in the family, yet, the basics were never changed. Well, how can you change perfection? See the ingredients below and get inspired!
- Bulgur. This cereal might be a discovery for you. It definitely deserves attention thanks to its taste and beneficial values it brings to the human body.
- Parsley. Be generous with it because the more parsley you use for the salad, the more delicious it gets.
- Red onion. The original recipe suggests using spring onion, however, the red crunchy onion is an excellent replacement.
- Cucumbers. These are not to be found in the original recipe, yet, give it a try and you’ll love it.
- Chilli. I could not miss it here, it just gives more character to the salad. It is an excellent added value to the dish.
The ingredients are joined by a refreshing and delicious sauce made from the following:
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
What is bulgur?
Bulgur is a mixture of different types of large milled grain. The cereal is successfully used in weight-loss diets thanks to its low glycemic index. Also, bulgur has a higher fiber, protein and vitamin content than rice.
How to cook bulgur?
It is an ingredient that is cooked similar to rice, more exactly, you can cook it 2 ways.
The first option is to let it soak in water. For the beginning clean the bulgur under running water using a sieve. The put it in a large bowl and pour over water twice the quantity of the cereal. Let it soak for at least one. It will absorb all water and become soft; it is then ready for consumption.
The second option, the one I used, is much faster because you cook it on a stove. Thus, put the bulgur in a boiling pan, cover it with water 1:2 and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed. Then it to a cooler place and allow it to lose heat.
How to make Tabbouleh salad?
You should always start with the preparation of the bulgur. Then, when you are sure that it is handled, you can proceed to the vegetables and herbs.
Peel the onion and wash it along with the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint and the chili pepper.
The proceed to chop all the ingredients, apart from the chili pepper. We will add it in the end. The secret is to have the vegetables chopped in small cubes while the herbs as fine as possible. You will need a well-sharpened knife for that and a big cutting board. When all the ingredients are finely cut, it is time to unite them in a big salad bowl. Put the bulgur first in the bowl, then add the colorful herbs and vegetables on top of it. Now chop as much as you want from the chili pepper. If you like your salad hotter, add more of it, if not, half is enough. Season everything with a pinch of salt.
For the dressing sauce, take a cup and pour in 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Securely cover the cup with a piece of food film and give it a good shake. Now you got a nice sauce ready to season the colorfully delicious Tabbouleh salad.
How to serve Tabbouleh salad?
Tabbouleh is a salad that shall be served at room temperature. However, if you store it in the fridge for the next day, you will also have an amazingly delicious crunchy dish. It is a very nutritious meal, therefore, it can be served alone. The Lebanese usually serve the salad on a leaf of lettuce, which is also a nice rustic presentation.
I served my Tabbouleh salad along with a few beautifully golden Falafel balls. I find it a perfect combination, equally healthy and appetizing. If you plan a big meal with family or friends, you can choose to have it served with your favorite grilled fish or roasted meat. Let free your imagination! Enjoy!
Nutritious Tabbouleh Salad From Scratch
- 1 cup bulgur
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 5 medium tomatoes
- 1 handful mint
- 2 handful parsley
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 small chili pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 lime
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp black sesame oil optional
- Put the bulgur in a boiling pan, cover it with water 1:2 and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed
- Peel the onion and the garlic, then wash it along with the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint and the chili pepper
- Finely chop all the ingredients using a cutting board
- Put the bulgur in the bowl, then add the colorful herbs and vegetables on top of it and mix
- For the dressing sauce, take a cup and pour in 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Securely cover the cup with a piece of food film and give it a good shake.
- Now season the salad with salt and sauce and serve with pleasure