Today, I’m sharing tabbouleh.
You know tabbouleh. Levantines have been eating this grain salad before grain salads were even a thing. Chopped fresh parsley combined with fine bulgur wheat, tomatoes, mint, green onions, and a bit of jalapeño pairs perfectly with the zesty dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and salt. It’s so many incredible flavors that truly define this region’s cuisine.
The reason why I love this tabbouleh recipe is because it’s the perfect balance of flavors and grain-to-parsley ratio. This tabbouleh also beats every other tabbouleh with the sogginess factor. Almost every time I eat tabbouleh in a restaurant, it’s overly dressed, way too oily and a huge mess. This simple salad requires tender love and care, and this recipe does just that.
I see too often westernized “tabbouleh” recipes that are primarily grain-based with only traces of parsley. Lebanese recipes contain almost no bulgur. This recipe, on the other hand, is parsley-dominant yet still has a bite of detectable bulgur.
You’ll almost never see a mezze spread without tabbouleh. It’s also a popular light lunch dish alongside some fatayer or kibbeh (fried minced meat balls). Romaine lettuce leaves are the perfect vehicle to scoop this delicious salad into your mouth.
To cut down on time, you can wash and chop the parsley and refrigerate it in a towel-lined airtight container for a few days. This salad can also be prepped a few hours ahead of time before mixing and serving.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you give it a try, don’t forget to put it in the comments and tag @omayahatassi and #omayahcooks on Instagram.
Prep time: 2 hours
4 bunches of parsley
1/2 bunch of mint, chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeño, diced
1/2 c fine bulgur
1/2 c lemon juice
1/2 c - 3/4 c olive oil
1/2-1 tsp salt
- Wash the parsley in a salad spinner until the water runs clear. Spin and lay out on paper towels for a few hours until completely dry. Pick off the leaves and mince finely. Parsley can be stored in a paper towel-lined airtight container up to 3 days.
- Combine the bulgur with the lemon juice, 1/2 c olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Soak for about 1 hour.
- Layer the remaining ingredients on top of the soaked bulgur, beginning with the parsley. This can be refrigerated up to 3 hours. About 10 mintues before serving, mix the ingredients. Add more olive oil if necessary and adjust salt.