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Tabouli Salad (adapted from the original place I found the recipe nearly 25 years ago, Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe)

Tabouli is my #1 all-time favorite food.   The first time my husband and I made it, we could not stop ourselves and ate the entire batch, which the recipe said was enough for 6! The quickest way to get started eating this phytochemical-packed traditional Lebanese dish is buy some at a deli.  My regular grocery store carries Tabouli pre-packaged in a little plastic tub.  It's great to pick up to eat when traveling.  Anyhow, if I have time, I "doctor it up" after I take it home by adding more diced tomatoes, sliced green onions with Tops, and pre-cooked lentils or garbanzo beans.   Most of the time there is enough dressing, but if not, just add another dash of lemon juice and olive oil. Now for making the recipe from scratch (truly the best).

  • 1 1/2 cups dry bulgar (buy dry bulgar is in the health food section of your grocery store or at a natural foods store)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup cooked, drained beans - garbanzo, lentil, or small white beans (can cook from scratch or use canned,  pre-cooked beans from your pantry shelf)
  • 2 cups fresh parsley - minced (can use your blender or food processor for this, or a chef's knife also works great ).  In the summer, I use half parsley and half fresh mint.  Don't worry about the amount - more is better her

- Side Two- Cut Out Below -
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  • 2 - 3 bunches green onions - sliced, both white and green parts
  • 3 - 4 medium tomatoes, chopped (in the off-season, I spend the money on the vine-ripened tomatoes for the best flavor)
  • 1/2 cup or more fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (this is the first recipe I ever bought olive oil for)
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions: Pour the boiling water over the dry bulgar in a medium to large bowl and let sit ~1-2 hours until water is absorbed.  Drain very well using a colander.  Bulgar will now be light and fluffy. Once bulgar is done, mix all the ingredients together.  Chill for several hours or overnight. 

I really don't think it is possible to improve my Tabouli recipe, but here are two modifications that add a twist without taking anything away: 1) Use the whole grain quinoa instead of bulgur (I use quinoa by Bob's Red Mill, which is already washed and ready to cook). 2) Use lemon balm in place of regular mint. Be careful if you grow this in your garden as it spreads like crazy, just like the other mints. Feel free to use either or both adjustments.