Tabbouleh, hummus and baba ghanoush are all traditional middle age cuisine of the Levant. Their influence has made its way into modern day Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Syria, and other Arabian nations. Tabbouleh was originally an herb salad made of tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Today it is often served with a grain such as bulgar, or couscous.
The two herbs that give tabbouleh its distinct flavor are rich in nutrients. Parsley is a common culinary herb and is a good source of antioxidants and flavonoids including lycopene, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Mint is one of my favorite herbs. Besides tasting great, mint is used in traditional medicine to treat stomach aches and even chest pains.
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 large ripe tomatoes
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup finely chopped scallions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with cold water for 1 hour. While the bulgur is softening, halve the tomatoes, gently squeeze out the juice and seeds, and chop the remaining pulp fine. Toss the chopped tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the salt and set aside.
Drain and squeeze the bulgur in paper towels and transfer to a serving bowl. Fluff with a fork and add the tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and mint. Combine the remaining lemon juice and the oil and mix it into the wheat mixture. Add the allspice, and pepper and mix through. Adjust the seasoning and place in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
Recipe and photo by Michelle