Known as “The Mother of all Lebanese Salads”, as they say in Lebanon! *The word Tabbouleh is derived from the Arabic word, “tabil”, which means “seasoning”. This is part of “Mezze” originally from the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, and comes from the Turkish “meze”, which means “taste, flavor, snack, relish”. Borrowed from the Persian “mazze” which means “taste, snack”. Mezze are often eaten before the main course in the Levantine and Middle Eastern world. The first time the word “Tabbouleh” appeared in the English language was in the 1950s.
Edible herbs are very big in the Middle East and the Levant. Not only are the herbs delicious, but the health properties are amazing. **Fresh parsley has lots of medicinal qualities. Pretty much no calories, as 100 grams are only 36 calories! In addition to it being fat free, it is very high in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, so it’s very heart healthy.
I am a big “fresh herb and veggie” lover, so for me Tabbouleh is a totally delicious treat!! The freshness of the parsley, the sweetness of the tomatoes, the richness of the olive oil and sourness of the lemon juice, there is nothing that could be better! I absolutely love it, not only for their health properties but for the flavor which is totally amazing!! So delicious!
There are a few variations to Tabbouleh, depending upon where you are from in the Middle East. My Tabbouleh is your basic recipe which includes parsley, tomatoes, bulgur, scallions (green onions), lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Some Middle Eastern families also add chopped mint.
So to see how it’s made, keep on reading!
- 2 large bunches of Italian parsley, chopped and rinsed and dried thoroughly
- 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup bulgur, soaked for 15 minutes in warm water
- 4 scallions (green onions) chopped finely
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Soak the bulgur in the warm water. Drain in a colander, pressing out the water so the bulgur has no water left in it and add it into the chopped parsley.
- In the Middle Eastern recipe the parsley is hand chopped, but I took the easy way out and put it in a food processor.
- Add the bulgur, tomatoes and scallions to the parsley into a large bowl and mix well.
- Add in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and serve right away. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: *Adapted from Wikipedia. **Always check with your doctor before consuming herbs for medicinal purposes.