Thursday, June 21, 2012

You Say Tabbouleh, I Say Tabouli

As I was making tabbouleh, I remembered why I never make it.  Lots of chopping.  Lots and lots of chopping.  But I wanted to make something with some cracked wheat that's been sitting in the cupboard for a while, and we were getting together with friends for a Father's Day barbeque.  Tabbouleh is a nice side dish for the summer, because you can serve it cold or have it sit out to room temperature and it's still going to taste good.  Also, if your culinary skills aren't where you want them to be, this is an easy recipe to make, and people will think you know what you're doing.  The only "cooking" you do is boiling water, which you then just pour over the cracked wheat (also known as bulgar -- it took me a while, plus asking someone at the grocery store, to find it).

Side note: I still don't know how it's supposed to be spelled.  When I was looking for recipes, I found it spelled at least 3 different ways.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not a big fan of tabbouleh.  I think the parsley taste is often too overwhelming for me, or maybe I've had one too many instances of the cracked wheat being too crunchy. I don't know, but I did find a recipe on Epicurious that had lots of mixed herbs that served to mellow out the parsley taste, so I thought I would share it with you.  It was really tasty -- especially on a hot day when you don't want to do a lot of cooking. As I was chopping the final bunch of parsley, I realized I could probably toss everything in the food processor and pulse it to the right consistency.  I will try that next time, for sure!

(click on the title to go straight to the original recipe on


  • 1/2 cup medium- or fine-grain bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 3 bunches) - I used regular, curly parsley this time
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Stir together the bulgur and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heatproof bowl. Add boiling water to cover. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve, pressing on the bulgur to remove any excess liquid.

     2. Transfer the bulgur to a large bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the rest of the ingredients until everything is well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve cold. Serves 8 (more if it's served as an appetizer)

    It takes a few ingredients, but the only thing you have to cook is the cracked wheat (bulgar).  You can see it in the bowl on the left with the plastic wrap on top.

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