I love Middle Eastern food... it is light, refreshing, satisfying, healthy, and delicious. I love using the pita to scoop up the various dips and goodies, changing the flavor profile with each bite...no two are the same. And I love how easy it is to make. Middle Eastern food is d-e-v-i-n-e!
So below is a recipe for one of my most fav middle eastern salads, tabouli. For those of you who don’t know, Tabouli, is a delicious medley of parsley, lemon, olive oil, tomatoes, and bulgar wheat. In my recipe I have tweaked the standard version a bit, because well, what is a recipe without a good tweaking. It resulted in a smooth herbaceous, crunchy, and tangy salad. It can be enjoyed by itself, on a cracker with hummus, or rolled up in a pita with some other extra goodies of your choice. It is versatile and robust enough to be served along meat and improves with a day or two in the fridge.
I prefer my tabouli with greater amounts of parsley/greens to bulgar wheat. However, if you are anything like my mom and prefer a higher bulgar wheat to parsley ratio feel free to adjust...my ego will not be offended. Also, as you will see below I added kale and cucumbers. Kale, because I had an explosion of it from my CSA box and cucumbers because I wanted more crunch. The kale adds a nice change of taste from the usual all parsley tabouli, giving it a more herbaceous flavor. You can see the picture of the kale below, I am not sure what kind it is...(anyone?) but buy that kind as it will chop up nicely and blend with the parsley. Dino kale wouldn’t work here in my opinion, too flat.
I also like my tabouli on the tart side, so I put a hefty amount of lemon juice in it. Again, lessen up on the lemon juice if you don’t want it too tart. Besides you can always add more at the end. Now a word about dried sumac...this dried ground berry is amazing stuff. It is tart and bright with an almost salty finish. The recipe can definitely be done without it, but it is such a nice addition I would go find yourself some.
Tabouli is a very forgiving dish and easily modifiable. If you find you're out of cucumbers or tomatoes omit them, you’ll be no worse for the wear. Same goes for adding in extras, maybe sub the bulgar with quinoa or do scallions instead of red onion. Have at it....
What To Pair It With
- Lemon & sumac marinated chicken or beef skewers on the BBQ
- Pita or crackers
- Herb roasted potatoes
This can be kept covered in the fridge for a few days.
All ingredients should be organic, remember why here.
Also because olive oil has been subject to so much scandal recently I make sure mine is from a reputable source. This is where I get mine.
- 1 1/2 c Bulgar Wheat (about 3/4 c dry)- cooked
- 1/2 c Kale- massage until it is bright green then mince
- 1 c Parsley-minced
- 2 Medium Cucumbers- large chop
- 1/4 c Mint- minced
- 1 Medium Herloom Tomato- small chop
- 3 TBL Red Onion- diced
- 3/4 c Lemon Juice (about 3 juicy lemons) squeezed and strained
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder- you could do fresh here but I felt it was too overpowering
- 4 TBL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Dried Sumac
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Boil 2 cups water, remove from heat and add bulgar. Stir, cover, and let sit for 20-30 min, until it is tender and cooked through
- Meanwhile prep the other ingredients by dicing and chopping accordingly
- Combine the kale, parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, onion, and lemon zest and give a good toss
- Combine the lemon juice, garlic powder, sumac, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a large measuring cup and stir.
- Stream in the lemon juice mixture into the bowl that contains the veggies and gently stir. Taste...add more salt, pepper, lemon juice, sumac, garlic if needed...taste again...repeat if necessary.
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