|Lovely summer salad….bon appetit!|
Tabouli, it's the traditional national salad of Lebanon! It's also the salad I grew up with. I remember my grandmother making it almost every Sunday. I can still see my her standing at the kitchen table with her flowered apron, over her house dress using her porcelain enameled white and red bowl. It was the bowl she used to soak her cracked wheat in. Then she would stand there squeezing the wheat in between the palms of her hands to get the water out…a process I still use today! She would chop all her vegetables with fine precision and mix everything together. She would then give me a taste …to make sure it tasted right, and it always did! Traditionally Tabouli is made of parsley, tomatoes, fine cracked wheat (bulgar), green onions, and mint. It needs to be made with ripe juicy tomatoes, to get the ultimate flavor. It is usually made in the summer. The other thing that is important to making a good Tabouli is chopping the vegetables. Everything must be done in a very small dice. Some people have said they use a food processor but, I caution against this. It will make the salad bruised and mushy. If you're going to take the time to make Tabouli, take the time to chop everything by hand. You will be glad you did. Truth is, my grandmother never wrote down any of her recipes. So most everything we make has been re-created by my aunts and mother, who were able to remember and duplicate her recipes. The Tabouli I make is a recipe that I put together trying several different recipes over many years, trying to duplicate my grandmothers version. I know I succeeded because, every time one of my aunts taste my Tabouli they say, "Just like your grandmothers"!
Traditional Tabouli Salad
3/4 to 1 cup of fine cracked wheat (bulgar)
1 bunch green onions (scallions)
2 large bunches of parsley (I use curly)
about a 1/4 cup of chopped mint
4 large tomatoes
1/2 cup of lemon juice
(freshly squeezed is best but I have used Real Lemon)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt…taste to see if you need more
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Soak wheat in warm water for a few minutes. Squeeze dry by pressing between palms of hands.
Chop tomatoes, onions, parsley, and mint. I sometimes throw in a cucumber…seeded and chopped fine.
Add wheat. Then mix all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together. Pour over the chopped veggie mixture and mix well. Chill at least an 1/2 hour to meld flavors. Enjoy!
This Salad should be made the day it is to be served. It will still be wonderful for leftovers (if you have any) but you want to serve it fresh.
|Warm water poured over cracked wheat|
|Fresh mint from my garden|
|diced….notice the dice is smaller than a penny|
|chopping the parsley|
|Fresh lemon juice|
|Beautiful Tabouli! Enjoy!|