(update: this recipe was revised April 22, 2014 after I made the salad differently and got even BETTER reviews from my friends and family!)
This salad is one of the best sides in all international cuisines! I love serving tabbouleh alongside a soft pita filled with falafel balls, lettuce, cucumber slices and tomato slices. Tabbouleh is a salad, which, at least in the American interpretation, is based on a grain. The grain is bulgur wheat, and it is available in bulk at natural food stores or even at your grocery store chain packaged by Bob’s Red Mill. The rest of the ingredients are easily found in your grocer’s produce section, and the salad itself can be prepared very quickly. The hardest part is chopping up the fresh ingredients- the rest is just mixing stuff together in a bowl. Easy. Make sure to allow some time for the tabbouleh to sit and marinate before serving. If it’s going to be eaten at dinnertime, make the recipe mid-morning if possible.
Tabbouleh (click on the title for a printable version)
1 cup dry bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 t. salt
1/8 cup sliced green onions (white and light green parts only)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste, if desired
First, pour the bulgur wheat into a small bowl and then pour the boiling water over it and leave to soak, covered, about 30 minutes.
Stir together the lemon juice and garlic and, once the bulgur has finished soaking up all of the water, add to the bulgur.
To a large bowl, add the bulgur mixture and then add and gently combine the remaining ingredients. Leave to sit in the fridge for at least four hours so that the flavors can meld. Fluff with a fork before serving if needed.
Bam! Wasn’t that easy? This dish is often served soaked in olive oil. You can add a couple tablespoons if you wish but I am here to tell you that it’s not necessary and you can save yourself the fat. Feel free to change the ratios of ingredients to suit your tastes. This dish should be a bit tart and full of earthy green flavors. You should be able to taste explosions of tomato and mint in each bite. Adding salt will bring out the flavors but be careful not to overdo it.
Tags: grain, grains, Greek, healthy, international, low fat, no fat, salad, side, side dish, tabbouleh, vegetables, veggies