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Taboule


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74 replies to this topic

#1 Jaymes

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Posted 07 July 2002 - 04:21 PM

But what do you put in yours? And what do you serve it with?

Seems to me most "authentic" recipes call for a great deal more lemon and parsley than "Western" recipes. At least the ones I've seen.

So, what ingredients ALWAYS go into your Taboule Salad?

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#2 LaNiña

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Posted 07 July 2002 - 04:50 PM

yes, yes, much more parsley than one usually gets in typical middle eastern places. and i always put in mint, too.

#3 Sandra Levine

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Posted 07 July 2002 - 04:55 PM

Yes, it's really a parsley salad. Mint makes the flavor even brighter. Does anyone add pine nuts?

#4 bushey

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 08:37 AM

I used to live near a Lebanese bakery that made fabulous food as well as bread and baked goods, and the best thing on the menu was their Tabbouleh. Lots and lots of parsley and mint, heavier on the lemon than the garlic, and the chopped tomatoes were just the right size. It used to be fabulous in a sandwich with hummous. Their pita bread was very thin and chewy.

I've tried to replicate it at home, but it never seems to come out right. The closest I've come is to use the Near East brand of Tabbouleh mix and doctor it up.

#5 Orik

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 11:40 AM

The recipe I've used mostly:

3/4 cup of thin bulgur, soaked in water and strained
1 cup very finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup very finely chopped peppermint
1 medium tomato, chopped very thin
juice from 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil (prefereably of a robust olive varietal)
salt and pepper

mix everything and adjust seasoning. It's very hard to speak of "authentic" tabouleh, but this results in something very similar to what you may get in the middle east.
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#6 oliva

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Posted 22 July 2002 - 09:14 PM

Apparently in Syria, it is sacreligious to add mint to Tabouleh.

#7 Elissa

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 07:55 AM

Few things, maybe dandelions, have more nutrients that parsley. Can tabouli save the world?

Edited by lissome, 22 February 2003 - 04:28 PM.

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#8 wgallois

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 11:12 PM

The key, I think, to tabbouleh, is to refuse the temptation to stuff it full of bulgar wheat or some other grain (many recipes encourage this as, I think, a means of bulking out the dish, which is not the point). Really great tabbouleh is, as you say, primarily about the parsley and the way in which it mixes with the tomato, lemon juice, seasoning, olive oil and mint.
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#9 Suvir Saran

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 01:53 AM

The key, I think, to tabbouleh, is to refuse the temptation to stuff it full of bulgar wheat or some other grain (many recipes encourage this as, I think, a means of bulking out the dish, which is not the point). Really great tabbouleh is, as you say, primarily about the parsley and the way in which it mixes with the tomato, lemon juice, seasoning, olive oil and mint.

Very interesting.... amazing post... it brings me back to what my friend Mary Ann Joulwan, of Lebanese descent has to always say. She keeps reminding people that tabouli is about the parsley and the mint, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon juice and not just the bulgar.

#10 Explorer

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 05:39 PM

1- Definitely, the tabbouli is about the parsley (not curley, please), the tomatoes, fresh mint, a bit of scallions, olive oil, lemon, and most importantly choosing the very fine bulgur. Don't saturate it with bulgur. Choose the very "blond" color bulgur. The authentic tabbouli doesn't have anything else as far as ingredients. Anything else that Lissome has mentioned are just Westernized versions. Another key thing is to eat it on romaine lettuce leaves, or cabbage leaves. You spoon it on the leaves, crunch into it and enjoy with a glass of Lebanese Arak!

2- Quinoa is totally different, as it has to be cooked. It's a very nutritious grain with a "nutty" flavor. I make it with a vegetables brunoise/stock and serve it with fish for e.g. instead of rice.

3- As far as your geo-politically oriented question, it isn't any different than asking why people that eat hamburgers or fries don't get along either. I am willing to suspect that North Korean and South Korean food has many similarities; so let's explain that one to Colin Powell?
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#11 FoodMan

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 04:32 PM

1- Definitely, the tabbouli is about the parsley (not curley, please), the tomatoes, fresh mint, a bit of scallions, olive oil, lemon, and most importantly choosing the very fine bulgur. Don't saturate it with bulgur. Choose the very "blond" color bulgur. The authentic tabbouli doesn't have anything else as far as ingredients. Anything else that Lissome has mentioned are just Westernized versions. Another key thing is to eat it on romaine lettuce leaves, or cabbage leaves. You spoon it on the leaves, crunch into it and enjoy with a glass of Lebanese Arak!


Amen to that!!! Sunday lunch at my family's house in North Lebanon was always fresh raw kibbe , a parsley rich Tabbouli with lettuce leaves (I do prefer Cabbage though), and Arak.


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#12 reddevil

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:06 AM

As lemons have been mentioned so often, I would just like to say that limes are so much more superior. They are perfect for tabbouleh.

#13 FoodMan

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 03:44 PM

As lemons have been mentioned so often, I would just like to say that limes are so much more superior. They are perfect for tabbouleh.

redevil:
When you say superior, what are you refering to? Do you think they have a better flavor than lemons when it comes to making Tabbouli? I think they are just different and certainly not traditional. Limes might be tasty (tastier than lemons!!! IMHO I don't think so), but they are just not middle eastern (Latin, thai maybe) and in my book they do not associate with Tabbouli. There is nothing like the flavor of parsley with lemons.


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#14 reddevil

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 01:51 AM

I don't think I have seen lemons growing in the middle east (all we had in our garden were lime trees). I could be wrong though, as I am not an expert on the origins of these citrus fruit. At the end of the day it is a matter of personal taste (as opposed to what's traditional or not), and to me limes just have bags more personality than lemons.

#15 Ladybug

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 01:53 PM

Lemons, limes, toe-may-toes, toe-mah-toes . . . I've lived in Turkey and they had plenty of lemons there. Actually, limes were quite scarce, as were grapefruit, but there were lemons and oranges by the cartload.

#16 hedgehog

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 02:08 PM

Lemons have been cultivated in Egypt for more than a thousand years It was the Arabs who brought them to other parts of the Mediterranean.

In Egypt, small very sweet lemons, green in color and very fragrant are called limes, but the are in fact, lemons. Similar to our meyer lemon but not exactly.


In fact, the Egyptians are thought to be the first to make lemonade.


They did this by macerating lemon slices
with their rinds-on-with sugar, then leaving them overnight to be used as a base for an incredibly rich-flavored lemonade

#17 swint813

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 09:56 AM

Am looking for a tabbouleh recipe. I am cooking BBQ for 35 folks the middle of September, and I think tabbouleh would be a good side. Any help would be appreciated.

#18 Marlene

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 09:58 AM

Hi there. This would be better posted on the cooking thread. I don't think there are any recipes in the Recipe Archive yet, but you could check there as well. Good luck!
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#19 swint813

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 10:00 AM

Thanks Marlene.........how do I get to cooking thread?

#20 FoodMan

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 11:17 AM

Am looking for a tabbouleh recipe.  I am cooking  BBQ for 35 folks the middle of September, and I think tabbouleh would be a good side.  Any help would be appreciated.

I think I can help but you might have to scale it up to 35 people. My recipe feeds about 4 as a side.

I’ve never really written a recipe for my Tabbouleh so the following is an approximation but it should work out fine.

2 bunches flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup diced onions (small dice maybe ¼ inch)
12 mint leaves (or to taste, but I like it a little on the minty side)
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup Bulghur (cracked wheat)
Juice of 2 lemons (or to taste)
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper


Finely chop the parsley and mint. Put them in a bowl, add the tomatoes, onions and bulghur and mix well. Now add the lemon juice oil and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings and acidity. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, so the bulghur can get a little soft then serve.

NOTE: If you plan on making it ahead of time. DO NOT mix it all together or the bulghur will get very mushy. Instead get everything ready and mix it up 30-40 minutes before serving.


Hope this helps.

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#21 Carlovski

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 02:29 AM

My advice is if you are scaling up is to try and make it in a fairly long and wide container - if you just use a deep bowl it can get quite claggy at the bottom, and doesn't mix too well.
You can soak the Bulghar in some vegetable stock fairly well ahead for it to soften, but don't add the other ingredients (Especially tomatoes and herbs) until the last minute.
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#22 FoodMan

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 09:20 AM

You can soak the Bulghar in some vegetable stock fairly well ahead for it to soften


I have to object to this point, the bulghur should never be soaked alone for it to soften ahead of time or else it will be TOO soft once you mix it in and it sits for a while (a problem with many cafetria style/buffet places that serve middle eastern food). Mixing it in 30 minutes ahead of time is more than enough for it to soften a little and keep some texture and have a little bite to it.

I do second the idea of using a wide long conatiner though.

FM

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#23 Jaymes

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 09:37 AM

And another problem with most Stateside taboule is that here it is a bulghar salad with oil, a little parsley and lemon, among other things. In the mid-east, it is strongly-lemon-dressed parsley salad with oil and bulghar, among other things.

There have been several previous discussions about this. For one thing, Tommy served it once at some sort of "do" and there was at least one thread (and I think there have been more, actually) devoted to it:

Taboule

Edited by Jaymes, 08 August 2003 - 09:41 AM.

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#24 swint813

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 09:47 AM

Thanks to all of you for your help. Maybe baked beans would be a more appropriate side, but I am looking forward to trying your ideas for my own cooks. Thanks again.....................

#25 FoodMan

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 09:48 AM

And another problem with most Stateside taboule is that here it is a bulghar salad with oil, a little parsley and lemon, among other things.  In the mid-east, it is strongly-lemon-dressed parsley salad with oil and bulghar, among other things.

There have been several previous discussions about this.  For one thing, Tommy served it once at some sort of "do" and there was at least one thread (and I think there have been more, actually) devoted to it:

Taboule

That is very true, parsley should be the dominant ingredient.

FM

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#26 Carlovski

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 08:50 AM

That is very true. But if you see the two as different recipes - one, a more authentic, refreshing zingy accompaniment and the other more as a tasty and filling starchy side dish then there is room for both.
For a BBQ, I would go with the second - unless you plan to have lots of different salads/sides as well.
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#27 ChefCrash

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 11:05 PM

The key, I think, to tabbouleh, is to refuse the temptation to stuff it full of bulgar wheat or some other grain (many recipes encourage this as, I think, a means of bulking out the dish, which is not the point).

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It is said that your generosity is measured by how green your Tabbouleh is. :biggrin:

#28 sazji

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 02:36 AM

As for favorite ways for making Tabbouleh...how far afield counts? In SE Turkey in the area around Antep and Adana, spitting distance from the Syrian border, it's called "kısır." I'd say it's probably half bulgur half other ingredients. The other ingredients are lots of parsley and olive oil but also tomato, green onions, mint, garlic if you like, and what really sets it off: red pepper paste. I've also had kısır with a bit of fennel greens in it (the wild stuff, not the bulb fennel which has almost tasteless leaves). The tartness is either in the form of lemon juice or pomegranate molasses. (If pomegranate molasses is used, you need to make sure and get a really sour one, not the Qortas brand which is quite sweet to my taste.) Or you can do a combination of both.
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#29 Swisskaese

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 06:46 AM

It is very difficult to find limes here. Lemons are everywhere. Where did you get the idea that lemons are unheard of in the Middle East?

I think our citrus is the best in the world, maybe with the exception of Italian blood oranges.

Reddevil, where are you from in the Middle East? Could it be that you thought your tree was a lime tree and in fact it was a lemon tree. There are green lemon trees.

I love tabouleh. In fact there is a new Lebanese restaurant that opened in my neighborhood. We are going to go eat there after Passover. And, I will definitely have tabouleh. I like it because is tastes great and also because it is usually made without tomato. I am allergic to raw tomato.

Edited by Swisskaese, 13 April 2006 - 07:07 AM.


#30 moosnsqrl

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 07:08 AM

This thread is killing me. I'm not sure I can even make it through to lunch time without at least lemons and parsley, if not the whole thing!

The Lebanese woman who taught me to make tabouli (or -eh) always said "you want to show the parsley," but I like some of the other expressions upthread (esp the generosity one, I hadn't heard it before).

I tend to be a purist about ingredients although I do like it made with couscous in place of bulgar. Hadn't thought about quinoa but that's worth a try, too.

Thanks for solving my dilemma about lunch, though. Only three more hours.
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