Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Tabbouleh

There are so many versions of the Middle Eastern salad Tabbouleh.  Tabbouleh is also known as Cracked Wheat or Bulgar Wheat Salad.  I see it so often served at veggie cafes and buffets, that I don’t care to make it much.  But today the sun is shining, its scorching in fact that I wanted to make a lazy light salad. 
Its important to note that the star of a Tabbouleh is the fresh parsley, not the cracked wheat.  And don't go thinking of using curly parsley.  As far as I am concerned, curly parsley is only good for garnish.  For tabbouleh it has to be flat leaf parsley.  I like to use my motion rocking mezzaluna to finely chop the parsley.  Oh if you wanted to make it more than a light salad, then consider adding some cooked chickpeas to it and serving it with a garlicky yogurt. 
One of my favourite food writers and cooking inspirations, Nadine Abensur writes in her cookbook Cranks Fast Food that 'if authenticity is what your after, use small young lettuce leaves to scoop it up and eat with' . Well although I am growing some salad leaves, even baby gem, I don’t have any to hand at the moment to enjoy in this manner, so it has to be served with plain tortilla chips this time. Sorry.

For those of you still picking wild garlic, here's a link to a Wild Garlic Tabbouleh recipe that I made last year.  Otherwise, just follow the link and check out the tash man singing of his love for taboulleh or is it tabouli.
I am sharing this recipe with Simona of Briciole. She has the honour of hosting this week's Weekend Herb Blogging #335. This food blogging event now in its 6th year was started by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and is now co-ordinated by Haalo of Cook (almost)Anything Once
My Tabbouleh
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients
100g medium coarse bulgar wheat
1 large bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, about 100g 120g including the fine stalks
Optional: 1 bunch of fresh mint or coriander, about 20g
6 spring onions, finely sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 – 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped into cubes
½ English cucumber, cut into small cubes
Juice from 1 large lemon, about 4 tablespoons
4 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
Method
Place the bulgar wheat in a bowl and pour hot water over it.  Leave it for 30 minutes or so to absorb the water.
Wash the parsley and the min, and chop it very finely.  Once the bulgar wheat is soft, drain and press out any excess water.  Return to the bowl and ad the spring onions, salt and pepper to taste. 
Then combine all the other ingredients, adding the lemon juice and olive oil last.  Taste and tweak seasoning if necessary.  Serve at room temperature. 

40 comments:

  1. I love Tabbouleh! This looks perfect!

    ~Have a lovely day!

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    1. Thanks. The sun is still shining, so I am getting some gardening done.

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  2. Mmmmmmmm, that just looks so fresh and summery. I think I'll be trying this later in the week. x

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  3. Oh I love tabbouleh and it's just perfect for hot weather, which we happen to be getting here today. Am stuck at work as train cancelled, so would so love a bowl of this now. I was taught to make it by a Syrian boyfriend many years ago and I've never had anything eating out that's half as good - your's looks like the real deal though.

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  4. one of my fave dishes! so perfect on a hot day!

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    1. Thanks Kendy, so good to hear from you.

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  5. Hi Choclette,
    Yes it certainly is right for this weather we are getting and I am making the most of it, with little cooking and more gardening. Sorry to hear that your stuck in work, hope you get home soon.

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    1. I got home eventually - phew!

      It may come as a bit of a surprise, but I've nominated you for an ABC award on my blog ;-)

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  6. mmm tabbouleh! I love the freshness! Beautiful pics!! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Yummy...I love tabbouleh, but haven't made it yet this year. You might like to link up to my veggie week linky too: http://wedonteatanythingwithaface.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/britains-got-salad.html

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    1. I would love to have linked up, except I don't think WHB blogging rules allow more than one link up. I will double check. Otherwise, If I make another salad in the next few days, I promise to do so.

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  8. Hi Shaheen,

    This is just the thing now for all the hot days we are now having-finally Summer is here-yippee!

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    1. Yes sunshine, we better make the most of it. I had a good afternoon working in the garden.

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  9. We had Tabbouleh last weekend, using herbs from the garden. We use Mint as well as Parsley, and I have to say that I disagree with you about curly Parsley. It tastes just the same as the flat-leaf version,and when it's chopped up you can't really tell the difference anyway! :)

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  10. Hi Mark,
    I guess we will just have to agree to differ, culy parsley really does nothing for me. Still friends :)

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  11. Taboulieh or not taboulieh, that is the question. I had an occasion to need to use curly parsley a couple of years ago. I had nothing else. It was fine. It is pretentious to say that only flat leaf is worth the trouble.

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    1. I guess if I really struggled to find flat leaf parsley, unlikley these days, I may at a push use curly parsley - but personally I can taste the difference. For me finding the flat leaf is worth the effort.

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  12. Our Lebanese neighbours put us right about how much parsley to put in tabbouleh: lots and lots! (That was 30 years ago when flat parsley was not available in Scotland.) You don't mention hummus or labneh which are ideal accompaniments, but I agree about a cos style lettuce for scooping.

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    1. Yes hummus, a good flat bread and labneh would have been good accompaniments. There are lots of fruit and veg theat were not availalbe to economic migrants in the U.K and many people started using subs, Iam sure now with the availability of these ingredients, ethnic communties use authentic ingredients. I remember my mother not being able to find ghee and having to use full fat butter and so forth. People do adapt, and don't get me wrong, if I really struggle to find flat leaf parsley, i may use curly parsley - but its unlikely these days. My preference is always for the flat leaf variety.

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  13. This is a lovely tabbouleh recipe - and I am with you whole heartedly on curly parsley. I used to think I didn't like parsley at all, but it turns out I was just stuck on the curly variety. Flat leaf I love :)

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    1. Thank you Kari. I don't think Iam being snobbish about it, its jsut a matter of preference.

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  14. This is so easy! Whats more... I have all the necessary ingredients on hand. This will definitely be today's lunch.

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  15. Oh I love tabbouleh! Must get some bulgar wheat in to celebrate the summer if it plans to stick around :)

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    1. Good sunny day today, don't know how long its goign to last - but am making the most of it.

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  16. Just back from Cardiff (!) and I see I missed a lot :)
    Love that tabbouleh salad! One of my favourite Middle Eastern Dishes and so lovely for the barbecue season. Which reminds me to make the barbecue ready. It switched from rainy to hot - crazy weather.

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    1. Oh there will be next year.
      Your right about the crazy weather, I don't think its to last so make the most of it. Its good to hear from you.

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  17. I haven't eaten this for ages and strangely enough, I have never made my own. I wonder why not.

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    1. Thanks Jac, I think because you see its one of those salads you see everywhere. Homemade is def. better.

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  18. mmmmm...... one of my absolute favorite salads!!!
    I am allergic to lemon juice, though, so I tried making it with lime juice once and everyone in the family liked it even better!

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    1. Hi Anna,
      Shame about your being allergic to lemon juice, I think lime will be a fine substitute. May try it next time.

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  19. I really want to try this as I"ve never made it before and will be fabulous for this warm spell we're having. Your version looks good to follow and really yummy.
    Happy Vegetarian Week, it's nearly passed me by, I've been so busy with work that cooking has taken a backseat this week. Tabbouleh for the weekend though!
    Sally x

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    1. Thanks Sally x Hope you enjoy the tabbouleh at the w/e
      I've been doing small amounts of cooking, nothing major as I've had other bitsy distractions.

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  20. I always love Tabouleh, I can practically eat just that for lunch :)

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  21. I am totally with you on flat-leaf vs. curly parsley. I should make a bowl of tabbouleh: my little garden has quite a bit of parsley right now. Thank you for contributing your lovely tabbouleh to WHB!

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