Tabouli is a traditional Middle Eastern vegetable dish based on bulghar wheat, mint, cucumber, and olive oil.
High in dietary fiber and manganese.
Very high in vitamin A and vitamin C.
Excellent source of protein (essential amino acids), especially in quinoa version or with added hemp seed meal.
Excellent source of essential fatty acids.
Eat tabouli at every lunation (Full Moon, New Moon, and Quarter Moons) and major Goddess holy days throughout the summer. Optional any day in the summer.
- Cooking pot with cover
- Sauce pan with cover
- Large or medium mixing bowl(s)
- Glass jar [optional]
- Wooden mixing spoon
- Sharp cutting knife
There is quite a bit of flexibility in both choice of ingredients and in quantites (proportions) of ingredients.
Please read through recipe instructions and notes before choosing quantities of ingredients.
- 1/2 to 2 cups of dry bulghar wheat (also called cracked wheat or burghur wheat)
- optional: 1/2 to 2 cups whole grain quinoa (not a traditional ingredient)
- optional: 1/2 to 1 cup hemp seed meal (not a traditional ingredient)
- optional: 1 cup of cooked and drained garbanzo beans (also called chick peas) or lentils (neither is a traditional ingredient)
- boiling water: twice as many cups of water as quinoa, equal number of cups of water as bughar
- 1 cucumber: peeled and seeded, then diced or finely chopped
- 1 to 4 tomatoes: firm, chopped or diced (left out of some traditional recipes)
- 2 tablespoons to 1 cup fresh mint (typically 1/2 to 1 cup): chopped
- optional substitute: lemon balm for some or all of the mint
- 1 to 2 cups or 1 to 3 bunches fresh flat leaf parsley: finely chopped
- optional: 1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- optional: 1 bunch coriander (also called cilantro): chopped
- optional: 2-3 bunches green onions or scallions: sliced (both white and green parts); this is a common traditional addition to the recipe
- optional: 1 to 3 cloves garlic: minced (note reduce or eliminate green onion when adding garlic)
- optional: 1 red onion: chopped (spicier substitute for green onions); somewhat changes the character of the taste
- optional: 2-3 carrots: grated finely (drastically changes character of flavor, but adds nutrition)
- optional: 1 red chili: finely chopped (spicier version); drastically changes the character of the taste
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 to 3/4 cups cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablesppons hemp seed oil per person eating tabouli
- optional: 1 tablespoon flax seed oil per person eating tabouli
- optional: 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper (most recipes call for ppper to taste)
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon raw sea salt (most recipes call for ordinary salt to taste)
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- optional: 1/2 orange, zest and juice (reduce lemon juice by half); drastically changes the character of the taste
- optional: pistachios, finely chopped
- Romaine lettuce
Traditional tabouli is made with bulghar wheat. The quinoa version is popular in health food circles (unlike bulghar wheat, quinoa is a complete protein). The lentil and garbanzo bean version makes a composite protein. The hemp seed meal is also a complete protein. A recommended version has equal portions bulghar wheat and quinoa with half portion of hemp seed meal.
Cooking bulghur wheat: Put bulghur wheat in a bowl. Boil the water in a pot. Pour the boiling water over the bulghur wheat. Let the bulghur wheat soak in the hot water for 30 minutes to 2 hours. The wheat should absorb all of the water. If not, drain off the excess with a colander. The bulghur wheat should be light and fluffy.
Cooking quinoa: Thoroughly soak the quinoa in cold water for five minutes using medium size bowl. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Note that you can purchase pre-rinsed quinoa. Pour rinsed quinoa into a sauce pan. Lightly toast the quinoa in 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oilve oil (this is in addition to the amount used as part of the dressing). Add water and bring to a full boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes (until water is absorbed). Optionally drain excess water and save to add back to finished mixture if needed to make a nice tabouli consistency. Let quinoa cool before mixing with other ingredients.
Prepare dressing: Mix lemon juice, olive oil, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil (if used), garlic (if used), black pepper (if used), sea salt (if used), cayenne pepper (if used), orange zest and juice (if used), and cumin (if used) in a bowl or glass container. Let dressing sit
Preparing salad: Chop the mint, parsley, cucumber and tomatoes. Also chop any optional ingredients used, such as lemon balm, basil, green onions, scallions, red onion, carrot, and/or red chili. Optionally use a blender or food processor to mince parsley. Mix salad parts in bowl.
Optionally mix the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper with the chopped green onions or scallions first. This lets the salt and pepper bring out the sweetness of the onion juice. In this case, mix mint, parsley, and basil, then tomatoes, cucumber and other optional vegetables, finally mixing in the green onion mixture.
Combine all of the bulghur wheat, quinoa, hemp seed meal with the vegetable ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine well.
Thoroughly mix in the dressing.
Put the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for at least one hour. A full night is even better.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Place the tabouli salad on a bed of Romaine lettuce or use hearts of Romaine lettuce to scoop up the tabouli salad.
Optionally sprinle with chopped pistachios. In the spicier version, serve with a spoonful of yoghurt and sprinkle with pistachios.