“Tabbouleh bouleh, ooooh baby said now we gotta eat.”
For the record, yes I make up silly cheesy songs about food. I do it all the time. It’s good to sing to your food, it likes it precious, It does. I also sing about cats in case you were interested. Anyways on to talking about tabbouleh. It’s an herb salad…….No not THAT kind of herb! Just cause I’m singing to food and cats you think….. Oh dear. I believe its evident that I need a vacation soon. lol.
Tabobouleh is a Lebanese herb and grain salad that is super healthy and delicious. It can be eaten on its own, as a side, and as a condiment. I often play around with different grains and herbs in my Tabbouleh recipe, but the traditional style is with bulgar wheat which has a nice hearty texture and taste, parsley and mint. I like my tabbouleh with more herbs and veggies than grains.
1 cup dry bulgar (optional grain substitutes: I used a quinoa, amaranth, millet mix this time because that’s what i had on hand. also straight quinoa,or couscous works too)
1.5 cups veggie stock
1 bay leaf
2 bunches italian parsley (aprox 4 cups)
1 bunch cilantro (approx 1-1.5 cups)
1 bunch mint (approx 1-1.5 cups)
approx 2-3 cups fresh tomatoes, diced. Use mini or large, whatever tastes the most like a tomato at the time
approx 2 cups diced cucumber: remove the seeds if there are many, and they are watery or large
optional: 1 tsp sumac
juice from 1-2 lemons (around 1/4 cup)
4 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1) Rinse and add Bulgar (or grain of your choice) to a rice cooker or saucepan with the veggie stock and bay leaf. Cook on low for approx 20 minutes without lifitng the lid.
2) while you are waiting for your bulgar to finish prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3) prepare herbs:I take the whole bunch of herb and remove any bad leaves.I then wash the leaves thoroughly and I use my salad spinner to dry them. I use the tied up herb stems as a secure base to help me chop the herbs. I roll up the leaves tight and chop them roughly. I tried to show in the pics but you need 2 hands to do it so it doesnt show as well. At this point you can throw all your roughly chopped herbs in the food processor, or break down finely through more chopping. throw into a large mixing bowl
4) Next prepare the tomatoes and cucumber. Make sure when you dice the tomatoes and cucumber they are similarly sized pieces. Remove the seeds of either if they are very watery. Add to mixing bowl.
5) next prepare the dressing: Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and sumac (optional) to a bowl. Make a paste with the garlic and salt and add to the mixture. Use a fork or whisk to mix it up.
Sumac: is a very tangy bright spice. It has a citrusy taste.
6) When bulgar is ready allow to cool a bit, but not completely. It should still be warm when you add it to the herb mixture so it can absorb the dressing better. Add partially cooled bulgar and dressing to the herb and veggie mixture and toss. Check the flavours and adjust as necessary. (may need more salt, or lemon?)
7) let the tabbouleh sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. The flavours need time to all mingle together.
Ideas for optional additions:
– a few handfuls of chopped dried apricots and walnuts
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– additional fresh herbs: I usually add either fresh dill, basil, or thai basil to my recipe.