Updated: Apr 30, 2021
There may be as many different recipes for tabbouleh as there are cooks who prepare this dish.
(That may not be too much of an exaggeration!)
Whether your ancestors came from Israel, Lebanon, Syria, or somewhere in the United States, you may have experienced a different version of this dish. Some versions call for mostly parsley and not much grain at all. Others are more grain with just a little parsley. Some are made with bulgur, and others with quinoa.
Here, you have my version. Again, I may not always make it exactly the same way every time. The main thing is to find out what you like and go with that. I like olive oil, purple onions, cilantro, and tomatoes, so I usually stick with those ingredients. And even though I love quinoa as well, I prefer bulgur in tabbouleh, so I use it here.
1 C bulgur
2 C boiling water
1 C seeded and chopped firm ripe tomatoes
1 C chopped purple onions or scallions with a little of the green part
1/2 C finely chopped Persian cucumber
1/2 C chopped cilantro (use parsley, if you prefer, and more, if you prefer)
2 T chopped fresh mint
1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place the bulgur in a saucepan and pour boiling water over it. Cover and set aside for 40 minutes.
While the grain is soaking, measure and chop the rest of the ingredients.
Place the soaked bulgur in a strainer, pressing with a wooden spoon to extract extra moisture and make the grain fluffier and drier. Transfer the cooled bulgur to a large bowl to cool further.
When the bulgur is cool, add all ingredients and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
This recipe can be made ahead of time, and it improves in flavor over a couple of hours.