A Fulfilling and Refreshing Salad That Has Traveled The World
From The Cedar Land!
The Lebanese Tabbouleh has taken its rightful place among the healthiest foods in the recommended lists and books of worldwide nutritionists. No much to wonder here. It is light, non-fattening and contains the many benefits of its many components: virgin olive oil, tomato, parsley, spring onion, lemon and wheat.
The Lebanese Tabbouleh ranks #1 in my list of favorite foods. It is also as high ranked in the list of my children. 🙂
How to make the Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad?
It is a question I am always asked by my non-Lebanese friends and guests. You have probably seen several variations around, in restaurants and supermarkets outside Lebanon. Unfortunately, most are not the authentic recipe.
As a first rule, know that the Lebanese Tabbouleh is essentially composed mostly of chopped parsley, the tomatoes in less yet balanced quantity, and very little wheat. The taste of lemon juice should be relevant.
It is the abundance of Parsley in the Lebanese Tabbouleh that makes it a “healthy, rich and super-green salad” with impressive health and healing values. It is characterized by its juicy lemon-tangy kick and refreshing taste.
Initially, the Lebanese Tabbouleh used to be eaten with fresh grape leaves. Some still eat it this way, while some eat it with lettuce hearts instead or simply without.
The Lebanese Tabbouleh is served as a salad, or side dish, with grilled meat or BBQ along with Hummus. However, we pretty much have our Tabbouleh with almost any consistent meat or fish dish.
It is well served with Baked Kibbeh, Shawarma, Sheikh el-Mehchi, Fish Kibbeh, Maghrabieh, Maqloobeh Eggplant Pilaf, and you name it! But hey, delicious and refreshing as it is, you can eat it with almost everything or alone anytime!
My good friend Ibtissam used to serve us Tabbouleh in the afternoon or in the evening before the welcoming cake. Her version of Tabbouleh, also as delicious, contains finely chopped cucumber for added freshness, and a couple of fresh mint finely chopped.
Our Lebanese Tabbouleh has its special place in the Lebanese Mezza menu. No “respectable” Mezza is served without it. It is expected and much awaited.
With great pleasure, I share with you the recipe of the most famous Lebanese side dish:
The Tabbouleh Salad!
- 4 bunches Fresh Parsley washed and chopped finely without the stems.
- 5 Tomato (medium) cut in small dices
- 1 small handful Fine Burghul (cracked wheat)
- 4 Spring Onions chopped finely
- 1/2 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/3 tsp Lebanese 7-Spice or allground spice
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp Salt or as desired
To Garnish (optional)
- 1/2 Tomato (small) finely diced
- 6 leafs Lettuce Hearts (optional)
- 1/2 Lemon Sliced in half-moon shapes
Place the chopped tomatoes, and onions in a deep recipient. Add the Burghul and spices and mix gently so not to smash the tomatoes. Cover and let it rest in the fridge.
On the side, mix the lemon juice, salt & olive oil.
The finer you chopped your parsley, the more accurate your Tabbouleh.
There is a say in Lebanon that a good housewife is known from how fine the parsley of her Tabbouleh is. While it is not necessary true, a good tasteful Tabbouleh must have its parsley chopped very finely.
Finalizing Your Tabbouleh
The Tabbouleh is mixed right before serving to keep its refreshing taste and crispiness:
Mix well all ingredients together. Shake well the prepared dressing, and pour it over.
Mix all well, nicely... and carefully not to smash the tomatoes.
I recommend refrigerating the Tabbouleh for about 10 min before serving to optimize its refreshing experience.
Transfer the Tabbouleh into a serving plate.
Top it with the diced tomatoes (top center).
Decorate the sides with the lettuce and lemon slices as you see it fit.