Citizens – Tabbouleh or تبولة is an Arabian vegetarian dish (sometimes considered a salad) traditionally made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous instead of bulgur.
Tabbouleh is traditionally served as part of a mezze (appetizer) course in the Arab world and it has now become a popular ethnic food in Western cultures.
The Levantine Arabic tabbūle is derived from the Arabic word taabil, meaning seasoning. Use of the word in English first appeared in the 1950s.
To the Arabs, edible herbs known as qaḍb formed an essential part of their diet in the Middle Ages, and dishes like tabbouleh attest to their continued popularity in Middle Eastern cuisine today. Originally from the mountains of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East.
Tabbouleh and other vegetable-based mezze dishes popular in Syria were mocked by the wealthy Baghdadi women and cooks when they were first introduced to them, because they were seen as being a means to scrimp on the use of meat.
My version of this delicious recipe includes finely diced cucumber, basil, cumin, coriander seed and shallot plus a hint of garlic. I find it to be a superior variation, but you will be the final arbiter, Citizen! 🙂
Battle on, The Generalissimo
¾ cup fine bulgur
¾ cup minced shallot
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground cumin
¾ teaspoon freshly ground coriander seed
1 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
⅓ cup minced fresh mint leaves
½ cup finely chopped scallion
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup finely diced seeded cucumber
1 cup finely diced seeded tomato
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
In a bowl wash the bulgur in several changes of cold water, letting it settle to the bottom before pouring off most of the water, until the water is clear and drain it in a large fine sieve. Return the bulgur to the bowl, add enough cold water to cover it by 1 inch, and let the bulgur soak for 1 hour.
While the bulgur is soaking, in a large bowl stir together the shallot, the salt, the coriander and the cumin and let the mixture stand for 30 minutes.
Drain the bulgur in the sieve, pressing hard to extract as much water as possible, add it to the shallot mixture with the herbs, the scallion, the lemon juice, the oil, the cucumber, the tomato, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and toss the salad well.