Tabbouleh is such a great salad. It combines all the classic ingredients of the Mediterranean: tomatoes, cucumbers. herbs (parsley, mint), olive oil and lemon. While it is not a Greek dish, it definitely combines ingredients common in the Greek cuisine and I love it!
So there are many different versions, I tend to like the one with more parsley and less bulgur, although in the photo it seems like I added less parsley (I ran out). Also the original recipe uses bulgur (in Greek we call it pligouri) a cereal made from the kernels of wheat, which maintains much of its bran and therefore is a good source of fiber. When I decided to make this over the weekend to photograph it, I did not have bulgur on hand and just used couscous instead hence the photo, although I much more prefer it with bulgur- healthier and tastier.
The nutritional value of this dish needs no explaining, but I’ll go ahead just in case. First of all this salad (as most salads) is a great source of fiber, which means it keeps you full for a long time. This salad is full of antioxidants from the tomato, onion, olive oil, parsley and lemon. Also as this salad has some starch in it, it can make up a whole meal that is satisfying and filling. This salad is a bit deceptive, you may think it is light, but actually it is very filling and hearty. I actually ate only this salad for lunch and dinner the other day and I was very full.
Also this salad tastes much better when it sits overnight, not only do all the flavors meld together, but it softens the herbs and the onion.
I followed a recipe given to me by my former colleague and the friend at the American College of Greece, Deree, Sophie Themelis, a personal trainer, pilates and yoga instructor with a Greek, Jordanian and Palestinian background. Thank you Sophie!
- ½ cup bulgur/burgul/pligouri
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup boiling-hot water
- 2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 spring onions or 1 dry onion
- 1 big cucumber
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon dry mint
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper (any color)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Stir bulgur, salt, boiling water & let stand for 15 minutes. Drain excess water.
2. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, onion and mix well in a large bowl.
3. Add the bulgur and mix well. Add the dry mint, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon and mix well. Sophie recommends to mix with your hands, and I agree, as it is a common way of really making sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
4. Cover the bowl and let it sit for at least 2-3 hours, although overnight is better.
Serve as a side dish or as main course.