Tabouleh: Wheat and Herb Salad

Tabouleh
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Ratings (45)
  • Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 5 - 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
124 Calories
9g Fat
9g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 - 10 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 124
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 716mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 4g
Calcium 60mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tabbouleh, also spelled tabouleh or tabouli, is a traditional Levantine salad that is commonly served as part of a mezze, or appetizer spread, in the Middle East. Levantine, a historical term, refers to a large area in the eastern Mediterranean which would include all the countries along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean from Greece to Libya. Many of them have a great shared culinary history and tradition. The region is considered the western counterpart to the Maghreb.

Tabbouleh is a vegetarian dish made with fresh vegetables, bulghur wheat, olive oil, and spices. Basically, a hearty grain salad and perhaps one of the most distinctive dishes of the region. The dish can be eaten inside the pocket of pita bread, scooped onto toasted pita bread, or eaten traditionally with a fork. In the Middle East, tabbouleh is commonly eaten with fresh grape leaves used as a scoop.

While the traditional recipe begins with chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, and onion, tabbouleh can be revamped and made with any variety of vegetables according to your own taste. You can add carrots, cucumbers, or red and green onions. It's best to taste as you go, seasoning with each ingredient addition during the preparation so that you get a well seasoned and balanced final dish. You can turn this into a heartier dish, great for lunch, by adding a bed of romaine lettuce or stirring in baby spinach leaves.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup bulghur wheat (medium-grade)
  • 2 bunches fresh parsley (1 1/2 cups chopped, with stems discarded)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint (chopped)
  • I medium onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 6 medium tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Optional: romaine lettuce or grape leaves (to line serving bowl)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Soak the bulghur wheat in cold water for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until soft.

  3. While the bulghur wheat is soaking, prepare all the other ingredients. Chop the fresh parsley and the fresh mint, being sure to discard the stems.

  4. Finely chop the medium onion and dice the tomatoes.

  5. After soaking, squeeze out excess water from the bulghur wheat using your hands and/or a paper towel.

  6. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.

  7. Line the serving bowl with grape leaves or romaine lettuce and add the mixed salad.

  8. Sprinkle the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper on top.

  9. You can serve this immediately or, ideally, chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours before serving. This will give the flavors time to infuse.

Variations

  • In addition to adding other fresh vegetables, traditional tabbouleh can be given a new twist using couscous instead of bulgur wheat.