Tabbouleh is a Middle-Eastern salad which has claimed fame around the world for it's ingredients of fresh vegetables and herbs. It represents health. It makes you feel as if you are eating the best there is available for you! And you are!
The origin for this delicious salad is Lebanon and Syria. It was brought to Israel by Sephardic jews from these countries. What else is new? Similar in origin to many dishes which have become part of the Israeli cuisine over many years.
After all, up until the Russian Immigration of the 1990s, Israel's population consisted of 70% Sephardic jews. Most of the Israeli cuisine was dishes from different Middle-Eastern countries. Today the Mizrahi (Middle-Eastern/Sephardic) population is still made up of 50% of Israel's population. So it is no wonder that the culinary richness of Israel comes in large from it's neighboring countries.
It is very customary in a Mizrahi Restaurant in Israel to have many salad plates of different combinations in a Mezze style brought to your table as you look through the menu to pick out your order. You can be sure that one of those salads will be Tabbouleh!
Most people use Burgul wheat for the tabouleh salad but I prefer to use semolina which is what cous cous is made from. I find it has a more delicate flavor and is not as coarse. There are many versions of this salad and there are no real rules except for one! Parsley is the main ingredient and all the rest is just added to it.
So here's my simple and delicious version of Tabbouleh!
What you will need:
1 ½ cup semolina or a box of cous cous.
1 ½ cup of boiling water
1 teaspoon Osem soup bouillon mix
1 bunch of fresh parsley chopped
2 - 3 medium tomatoes
3 sprigs of green onions, chopped small
½ cup of fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
juice of half a lemon
2 cloves of garlic, chopped (optional)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium non stick pot and add the cous cous. Add Osem bouillon soup mix. (See link at bottom of page) Toss it for a minute so it is all blended together.
Add boiling water, take off heat and cover.
In a bowl mix together tomatoes, mint and parsley. I like my parsley chopped a little coarsely but some prefer it chopped fine. It is a personal preference so you choose.
Add chopped green onions. mix.
Add lemon juice, salt, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, cumin and 1 tablespoon olive oil. If the salad is a little too dry add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Texture is also a personal preference. We like our tabouleh more on the moist side.
Fluff the cous cous with a fork so all the grains are separated and not in chunks. Mix with the vegetables and spices and you're done!!
You couldn't make an easier healthy fresh salad. And oh, so delicious. Serve with hummus and pita bread.