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Aug 9, 2008 05:47 PM

Taboule - variations on a theme (and a question)

I just got back from the middle east where I feasted on tabule throughout my trip...
I made it myself for the first time this evening - flat leaf parsley, sweet onion and tomato and flavored with olive oil, half a lemon and S+P along with a quarter cup of whole wheat couscous.

So... are there variations to this? or have I mastered this dish?

The other question is: is there a quicker, more effective way to chopping parsley than doing it by hand? I know you can do it in a food processor but I don't have one. Can it be done in a blender?


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  1. For the parsley, put the leaves in a small cup and stick your scissors in there and snip away. You said you used couscous, I thought tabbouleh was made with bulgur.

    1. To me tabbouleh has always been all about the mint, and yes, made with bulgur wheat.

      1. I have a food processor but prefer to use a knife and cutting board to chop the parsley. Goes pretty fast and I think I'm just about as fast as the food processor if you include the rinsing and cleaning time of the food processor. I use flat and or curly leaf parsley.

        4 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          how do you cook the bulgar wheat? ... i had no idea that that was what was used.
          Axa- what proportion of parsely to mint would you suggest?

          1. re: rbc

            rbc, bulgar isn't cooked, it's soaked in water then drained through cheesecloth. I really squeeze it to get it as dry as I can. I use about two times more parsley than mint (1 cup parsley and 1/2 cup mint), but I really like mint. I've seen recipes call for 2 cups parsley and 1/2 cup mint. I think tabbouleh is fun to make because there isn't any hard and fast rule, it's what you like. I prefer flat leaf parsley in tabbouleh, but again, it's what works for you!

            1. re: Axalady

              Bughur isn't cooked for taboulé because it is precooked (parboiled) wheat. I make it far more herb/veg than wheat, unlike most supermarket preparations. That is what I learned from my Lebanese friends, and it makes taboulé a nutritional powerhouse!

            2. re: rbc

              I usually buy two large bunches of parsley and one of mint. I use about a cup of fine bulgur. Cover with water and soak for ~30 min. I add lemon juice for the acid and EVOO. Tomatoes and green onions go well. Finely diced cucumbers san seeds give a nice crunch and is optional. I like a touch of cumin in mine but I love cumin. Yeah I even but it in my hummus

          2. All the stuff you mentioned, plus cucumber, bell pepper, mint, garbanzo beans, green onion tops and a little finely minced jalapeno. I also like to play around with the spices. Cumin, sometimes, a little cinamom or fenugreek or cardamom. Parsley, IMO, shouldn't be done in a processor, as it's a very short distance to paste. Rolling the sprigs into a tight roll then slicing, makes it alot easier. If you're looking for a gadget to do this, get a Moulinex herb mincer. It looks like a rotary cheese grater, only without the top/pusher bar, and with rotary knives instead of the grating wheel.

            1. I discovered that using chicken broth instead of plain water for soaking the bulgar wheat, balances the lemon and tomato tang. I use quite a lot of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest in my tabouli.

              1 Reply
              1. re: donali

                I use a mezzaluna shaped knife (it isn't a real mezzaluna) for the parsley. Yes, cooking the bulghar in broth is a good tip, it is a variation done sometimes in traditional Levantine cooking as well.