Jennifer- I was introduced to this salad by my husband who is half Lebanese and I was taught the finer points of making it by mother-in-law who was an excellent cook. There is a lot of bad Tabbuli being made out there. Follow this recipe and yours will not be one of them! There are three key factors to the success of this simple salad:
- The ratio of burghul wheat to chopped parsley. You should see a lot more parsley and other ingredients than wheat.
- Only rinsing the burghul and then squeezing out the excess water -do not soak! The lemon juice that will be added is what will soften the wheat (not the water)!
- Cleaning the parsley & mint well so there are no stems and chopping the parsley, mint and green onions (and other vegetables) by hand. Using a food processor mashes and damages them and makes them releases their juices which makes them a slimy. The parsley, mint and green onions in Tabbuli should be crisp with cleanly chopped leaves.
- A Scant ½ Cup of dry #1 Burghul Wheat
- 5 Cups Finely Chopped Parsley - chopped by hand
- 1 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Mint – chopped by hand
- 1 Bunch of green onions with green ends, finely chopped by hand
- 1-2 Large Tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped by hand
- ½ Cup of a sweet onion – finely chopped by hand
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2-3 Teaspoons O’Live A Little’s Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1-2 Teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 Cup O’Live A Little’s Greek or Tunisian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2/3 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice – Don’t used pre-bottled – yuck!)
Gluten Free Options:
Replace the burghul wheat with either ¾ cup of dried French Green Lentils cooked or Quinoa cooked or a combination of both. My personal preference are the lentils – they are delicious they make the tabbuli into an entire meal as they are so hearty and flavorful.
Method of Preparation
- Rinse burghul, drain, then squeeze excess water out. Place in large mixing bowl. First, finely chop the parsley, then mint, then green onions, sweet onion and the tomatoes. Place the vegetables in layers on top of the burghul.
- Toss all ingredients. Add the cinnamon, salt and pepper and toss again.
- Add the lemon juice and Olive Oil.
- Refrigerate for 30 mins to allow the Burghul to soften (the burghul will soften and expand).
- If not serving right away, you can add the tomatoes and the olive oil a ½ hour before serving. This keeps the “fresh integrity” of the salad, but it is not necessary. This is a salad that keeps very well in the refrigerator for a few days. However, I would follow this suggestion for it’s initial serving if it’s not being served with ½ hour.
- Traditional Tabbuli is eaten by hand using tender grape leaves, romaine lettuce and pita bread