If you venture to your local Mediterranean restaurants, odds are you’ve seen Tabouli (or Tabbouleh) salad on the menu. Tabouli is a healthy & delicious parsley salad loaded with ripe tomatoes, onion, cracked bulgar wheat, mint and lemon juice. The parsley salad had always been one of those dishes that I would try here and there, but it was never one of my go-to's. Man, was I missing out! It wasn't until a few years ago that I was converted into a Tabouli fool, and I haven't looked back since!
Back when my hubby, Sean, and I were dating, we worked together on the road, living out of hotels from Colorado to Ohio, for months at a time. While most of the time we just wanted to get out of the room and go grab a beer and burger somewhere, you can’t do that every night (as much as we wanted to). Waistline and wallet will not be too happy in the long run! If we were lucky enough to have anything resembling a kitchen, we would whip up what we could in the room.
Sean's go-to was always Tabouli salad. No real cooking involved, just chopping! The first time he made this, I was hooked. I think I ate about three bowls in one sitting…and I could have eaten more, just sayin’….it’s that good! Our living out of a hotel days are over, but Tabouli is still one of our go-to’s when we want to eat something simple and healthy.
This recipe uses a combination of curly and flat leaf parsley. I like the difference in texture of the two, but if you have a preference on one over the other, go with what you like! Wash your parsley really well and let it dry. (A salad spinner works great for this part!)
Cracked Bulgar Wheat is a tabouli staple and you’ll find that most recipes call for it. If you can't find cracked bulgar wheat, you can use Moroccan Couscous. Add your cracked wheat (or couscous) to a small bowl and top with water. Set aside for around 20 minutes or until cracked wheat is tender, adding more water if necessary.
Next, chop your parsley, avoiding the stems as much as possible (but don't worry if some get in the mix) and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in diced tomatoes & onion, chopped fresh mint (if you don't have fresh, you can use about 2 tbsp. dried mint, more or less to taste), cracked wheat, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper & sumac. Sumac adds a bright, subtle citrus flavor. It's a great addition to the Tabouli, but if you can't find any, your salad won't be ruined!
Once everything is tossed together, it's pretty much ready to eat. After a few minutes, the flavors really start to come together, so if you can stand to wait, let the salad hang out and marinate in all of its deliciousness.
If your fav Mediterranean restaurant has a grocery or spice section, give it a look! You can usually find larger containers of spices for way less than what you would pay for a small container in the grocery store.
When we make Tabouli for dinner, we tend to go back for seconds....maybe thirds if we're feeling crazy, so this recipe will make a hefty amount! Cut this recipe in half if you are just looking for a small side dish or smaller portion.
The tabouli will keep in the fridge for a couple days, but the flavors are best and brightest the day it is made.
Thanks for Chewsing!