Tabbouleh (a.k.a. tabouli) is a Middle Eastern salad traditionally made of bulgur, parsley, mint, tomato and onion (its name comes from an old Arabic word, Tabbūle, meaning ‘little spicy’). Because the salad is light, typically served cold, and contains no mayo or other easy-spoiling ingredients, it’s a great side dish for warm-weather picnics, parties or cookouts! Composed primarily of whole grains, herbs and vegetables, this dish is low in calories and high in fiber and protein.
Typical ingredients in tabbouleh vary somewhat by region (for instance, the Lebanese use more parsley than bulgur in theirs; the Turkish sometimes add tomato paste, garlic and sour pomegranate juice). The Washington Post recently ran a recipe for tabbouleh using brown rice, apples, sliced almonds and thyme. I’ve long been a big tabbouleh fan, so I decided to make my own for a little poolside dinner with friends, culling from the many ingredient variations used in tabbouleh recipes. I’ve stuck mainly to traditional ingredients, but with a few twists, like walnuts and raddichio.
1 ½ cups whole-wheat bulgur
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup diced tomato
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup sliced/choped black or kalamata olives
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup capers
sea salt, crushed black pepper (to taste)
1. Combine 1 ½ cups bulgur with 3 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes (this is using Bob’s Red Mill Quick-Cooking Bulgur; cooking instructions may vary depending on what kind you use).
2. Once bulgur is cooked, place in fridge to let cool. Grains should be be cool before mixing in other ingredients.
3. Combine parsley, tomato, onion, olives and capers in mixing bowl.
4. When bulgur is cool, add juice from 1 lemon, olive oil and vinegar, and stir together.
5. Add bulgur to other ingredients in mixing bowl.
6. Add feta cheese, walnut pieces, salt and pepper. Stir everything up until its thoroughly mixed.
7. Refrigerate tabbouleh, and let sit; salad will be best if given a few hours for ingredients to blend together.
8. Serve cold, either as side dish or with in/on pita.