Tabbouleh (also spelled tabouleh or tabouli) is the emblematic Mezza dish of Lebanon. The art of making tabbouleh lies in the way one cuts the parsley: it must be carefully sliced to produce very thin slivers. At Lebanese restaurants, tabbouleh is often served with lettuce or cabbage leaves as this is how it’s most often eaten (and with pita bread).
Contrary to popular belief, tabbouleh is NOT made out of couscous. What looks like couscous in tabbouleh is actually a different type of wheat called burghul. When you order tabbouleh at a non-Middle Eastern restaurant (mainly in Europe such as in Greece, and France), you will often be served couscous salad. You can think of authentic tabbouleh as 75% parsley, 23% onion & tomatoes and 2% burghul.
Estimated time: 40min (herbs cut by hand) or 20min (using a food processor)
Ingredients: 4 cups of finely chopped Italian/flat parsley (about 2 bushes), 2 big tomatoes, 1 large onion, 2 tablespoons of burghul (No. 2), 2 lemons, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 6 leaves of fresh mint finely chopped (optional), salt & black pepper to taste
1. After washing the parsley thoroughly, slice it as thinly as possible in strips and place it in a large bowl. Check out my trick on how to chop a large amount of parsley. Some will use a food processor to cut the parsley. This may be useful if you are planning for a big party, but it will irradicate the art of tabbouleh: some of your guests won’t see the difference, but some may!
2. Dice the tomatoes and onion into small pieces and add to the parsley.
3. In a small bowl, cover the burghul with a little bit of cold water and let it soak for 5 min. Then add the burghul to the rest of the salad and disregard the leftover water. The burghul will soak up the other juices in the salad.
3. Press 2 lemons and add the lemon juice as well as the olive oil to the salad.
4. Finally add salt and black pepper to taste, mix well and eat with pita bread or lettuce.
… and voila!
** Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the ingredients and recipes.