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Taboule


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74 replies to this topic

#31 Nicolai

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 08:42 AM

Oh No not the Tabouli thread again!

For the millionth time, Tabouli ingredients are as stated by many above:

- Flat Parsley
- Green Onions
- Mint leaves
- Tomatoes (Rock hard)
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Peper
- Burghul (fine and crunchy do do not over soak)

That's it. Any other addition or substraction of ingredients is not Tabouli but a variant. Also note that Tabouli is not a dish which keeps for few days and should be eaten as soon as ready.

The best Tabouli is to be found in Lebanon. The further you go out of Lebanon, the more soggy is the Bulghur and the more they splash on Burghul.
Some people in Ehden/Zghorta/Koura add a pinch of powder chilli which does lift the taste but check the acidity of your Lemons before using red powder chilli as the taste may fight.

Syrian - Jordanian - Turkish...etc Tabouli is a far cry from the real Lebanese one and generally it is accepted that the acid Test of a Lebanese restaurant is to try the Tabouli and the Hommos.
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#32 Swisskaese

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 10:58 AM

The best Tabouli is to be found in Lebanon. The further you go out of Lebanon, the more soggy is the Bulghur and the more they splash on Burghul.
Some people in Ehden/Zghorta/Koura add a pinch of powder chilli which does lift the taste but check the acidity of your Lemons before using red powder chilli as the taste may fight.

Syrian - Jordanian - Turkish...etc Tabouli is a far cry from the real Lebanese one and generally it is accepted that the acid Test of a Lebanese restaurant is to try the Tabouli and the Hommos.

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I wish you would explain your expertise in Middle Eastern food.

How can you make such a blanket statement that you can only find good Tabouleh in Lebanon? The acid test of any Middle Eastern restaurant is its meze.

Edited by Swisskaese, 13 April 2006 - 10:59 AM.


#33 FoodMan

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 11:07 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.

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I have to say...I almost diagree with you on all points. Lemons are everywhere in Lebanon. Limes not so much. Lemons IMO are more classy, vibrant, complex and delicious than limes when it comes to mediteranean or middle eastern food.

I agree with Nicolia. In Lebanon these are the tabbouli ingredients. Unfortunatly there is a growing trend these days in Lebanese restaurants and homes both in Beirut and in the US to eliminate bulgur! Last time I was in Beirut and having dinner at a family friend's house, I noticed that the lady of the house who prepared the meal did not but bulgur in her tabouli. I thought she forgot and pointed it out. She says "oh, sweetie, no one misses it and I like it more like that" :wacko: . I simply whispered to my mom "She made a very good parsley salad, but a tabouli it is not". Mom agreed.

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#34 Daniel Rogov

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 04:36 AM

Nicolai,Hello....

I agree with you that tabbouleh originated in Lebanon. I think you will also agree with me though that the entire Middle-East is an area in which recipes cross borders far more easily than do people. I think you will also find that even though tabbouleh itself originated in Lebanon, the dish cannot be fully historically Lebanese - tomatoes of course having been introduced not from the Middle East but from the New World.

I also agree with you that some of the best tabbouleh in the world is to be found in Lebanon. That does not, however, mean that one can not find superb tabbouleh in Al Quds (Jerusalem to many), Jaffa, Uhm Al Fahm, Akko, and yes, even in Tel Aviv's Carmel Market as well as in London and Paris, Cyprus. In fact, I recall a marvelous tabbouleh served on the Island of Corfu. As a perhaps counter-example, there is no question but that couscous as we know it today as a dish (e.g. couscous complet) originated in the Maghreb but that some of the finest couscous restaurants in the world are today to be found in Paris, Lyon, Marseilles and indeed even Rome.

As to the questions you put earlier, I have indeed dined on dishes in nearly all of the regions, countries and broad geographic areas to which you refer. True, I have avoided dining in several of those because carrying (among others) an Israeli passport, I seem to have failed in developing an overt wish to suicide.

With all due respect, and believe me, I do have respect for many things, I suggest that we keep in mind that Nicolas Chauvin was rather a laughing stock. I also suggest that Nestor Roqueplan was wrong when he swore in the cathedral at Chartres that "only a Frenchman will ever be able to make sauce beurre blanc". Chauvinism may have its place in real-politik but I think it best put aside when it comes to the culinary world.

Edited by Daniel Rogov, 14 April 2006 - 04:48 AM.


#35 FoodMan

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 07:11 AM

Thank you Mr. Rogov for a well balanced and informative post regarding this issue. We can all disagree but there is no need to throw punches.

Nicolai-
My post was not arguing whether tabouli is Lebanese originally or not. It was refering mainly to blanket statements like this one

The further you go out of Lebanon, the more soggy is the Bulghur and the more they splash on Burghul.


Like Rogov pointed out, the country of origin really does not mean that much. Case in point I would add the amusing intro to the "Cassoulet" recipe in James Peterson's "Glorious French Food". In Cassoulet country in the SW of France he had the worst version ever, made with canned beans canned hot dogs and little else. So yes, maybe Tabouli is Lebanese in origin, but saying that no other place makes it right is a blanket statement that makes no sense and diminishes the value of your post.

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#36 Rebecca263

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 06:44 AM

All of this arguing has no value BECAUSE: the best Tabbouleh in the world is made in my humble kitchen, in New Jersey, by me, a Syrian/Italian. My daughter assures me it is thus,, and I have accepted the accolades with grace. I have also been assured by many friends and family, that the best tabbouleh in the world is served in their mother's kitchens, as well. Tabbouleh is not some licensed recipe, it's a peasant dish, and has minor variations that do not detract. I disagree with Nicolai, who states that there is only one place that makes it to perfection, unless he admits to the truth. HIS mother makes the best, just like everyone else's mother does! :smile:
I might add, no pepper in my tabbouleh! I've eaten many a tabbouleh in Lebanese homes as well, and never enocuntered pepper in it that I could discern, so I'm flummoxed. Don't think I'll be testing Nicolai's version, though. I have my accolades, and why mess with perfection? :raz:
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#37 Baklava Jenny

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 07:07 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.

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.

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My father is Palestinian...however, my Tata was influenced by neighbors in Lebanon and her tabouli is is just like this. The parsley is so finely chopped that it feels like powder snow sifting through your hands. It is never overloaded with bulghur, just enough to add interest and texture.

And I do swear that when I am beginning to feel poorly, a good dose of tabouli has as magical a fix for me as the proverbial chicken soup.
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#38 Trentinla

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 07:39 PM

Speaing of Tabouli .. my fave recipe for it lies in the book Zov. You must find this cookbook as it is truly wonderful

#39 Smithy

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 01:15 PM

Speaing of Tabouli .. my fave recipe for it lies in the book Zov.  You must find this cookbook as it is truly wonderful

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Welcom to eGullet, Trentinla!

Please tell us more about the book Zov. Where is it from, where is it published, and/or how do you know about it? Maybe everyone else knows about this book already, but it's a new one for me.

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#40 ChefCrash

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:59 PM

Zov's book

by Zov Karamardian.

Edited by ChefCrash, 19 April 2006 - 11:01 PM.


#41 andiesenji

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 10:49 AM

I'm bumping this topic up because of the recent discussion about the subject of Tabouli/Tabbouleh etc., in the topic "I'm Conservative about - - -"

I was going through the blog links on my blog to see if all the links are still viable and came across this page on the site of David Lebovitz.
This recipe for Tabbouleh sounds more interesting than the recipe I posted - it includes some spices or a mixture of Lebanese 7-spices that I had forgotten about.
I used to drive down to Glendale where one of the markets specializing in Lebanese foods, sold a mix that was packaged in the store and was a perfect mix.

I am definitely going to prepare this recipe - also make a batch of pita bread in which to stuff it.
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#42 heidih

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 12:58 PM

Andie - I saw that David Lebovitz blog post and was intrigued by the way the herbs were shredded as opposed to chopped. Please report back if you make it as this seems a perfect dish for warm weather rotation.

#43 Shel_B

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:35 AM

I couldn't find a topic on this subject ...

 

What are your preferences for preparing and for ingredients for tabouleh?

 

.... Shel


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#44 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:52 AM

I make tabouleh a lot, and when I make it I make a lot so we have it on hand for a few days. Here are a few things I do: 

  • Use more parsley than most recipes call for. 

  • Squeeze out the cooked/rehydrated bulghur with a towel as hard as you can. 

  • Avoid tomatoes (and their water) and use diced red bell peppers, raw or roasted, instead.

  • Make a dressing instead of dumping various ingredients over the top (oil, lemon, salt, etc.).

  • Add both lemon zest and minced preserved lemons to every batch along with the lemon juice.  


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#45 Shel_B

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:01 AM

  • Squeeze out the cooked/rehydrated bulghur with a towel as hard as you can. 

  • Avoid tomatoes (and their water) and use diced red bell peppers, raw or roasted, instead.

  • Make a dressing instead of dumping various ingredients over the top (oil, lemon, salt, etc.).

 

Have you tried rehydrating the bulghur in the dressing, and eliminating the water?

 

How about oven-dried tomatoes?

 

What do you put in your dressing?

 

Thanks!

 

.... Shel


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#46 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:20 AM

(1) Have you tried rehydrating the bulghur in the dressing, and eliminating the water?

 

(2) How about oven-dried tomatoes?

 

(3) What do you put in your dressing?

 

(1) I have, and I found that the bulghur gets weird -- gummy, less toothy -- if you omit the hot water step. If you have time, you get an even toothier bulghur if you just soak it in room temp water for a while. 

 

(2) I never have them around, but, sure! 

 

(3) Salt, black and Aleppo pepper, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice. 


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#47 Darienne

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:57 AM

I know that we have discussed this topic before but no idea where. 

 

I use a LOT of mint.  TONS of mint.  No tomatoes.  And no bell peppers...but I might try that...

 

Dressing is lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper. 

 

I made Tabbouleh long before I became at all interested in cooking.  Used the basic recipe in Claudia Roden.  A Book of Middle Eastern Food.


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#48 Hassouni

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:47 AM

At least in Lebanon, tomatoes are compulsory. Tabbouleh should not be bone dry, in fact it's often very moist with a small pool of dressing, which is usually not more than sumac, garlic, a lot of lemon, and olive oil. Also, in Lebanon, preserved lemons to my knowledge aren't really a thing.

 

Tabbouleh should properly be eaten like a lettuce wrap, it's always served with whole leaves of romaine.



#49 Lisa Shock

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:49 AM

I have a recipe (from Scheherazade Cooks!) that calls for tomatoes, cut into quarters or eighths and gutted, to be used as scoops to eat the tabbouleh. Romaine vs tomato may be a regional thing.

#50 crinoidgirl

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:04 PM

No mint.
V

#51 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:05 PM

Why no mint? 


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#52 Darienne

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:37 PM

Why no mint? 

I ask also. 

 

No mint in Tabbouleh is like no chocolate in chocolate cake. :shock:


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#53 Jaymes

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

Well, there's this thread:

 

http://forums.egulle...c/8240-taboule/

 

And this one:

 

http://forums.egulle...bbouleh-recipe/

 

And this:

 

http://forums.egulle.../17291-tabouli/

 

As for tomatoes, I agree with Remy, who says, in the Tabbouleh Song (:

 

"Met a girl, she was a cutie

She said she'd make me Tabbouleh

But she made it without the tomatoes,

So I had to tell her, 'See you later.'"


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#54 Darienne

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:57 PM

As for tomatoes, I agree with Remy, who says, in the Tabbouleh Song (:

 

"Met a girl, she was a cutie

She said she'd make me Tabbouleh

But she made it without the tomatoes,

So I had to tell her, 'See you later.'"

I'm speechless.  (I didn't hear him mention mint... :sad: )


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#55 Jaymes

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:19 PM

As for tomatoes, I agree with Remy, who says, in the Tabbouleh Song (:

 

"Met a girl, she was a cutie

She said she'd make me Tabbouleh

But she made it without the tomatoes,

So I had to tell her, 'See you later.'"

I'm speechless.  (I didn't hear him mention mint... :sad: )

Hilarious, right...

 

"First you take parsley from your sister

Chop it up like hands of shoplifter."


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#56 rotuts

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:18 PM

Hot vs room temp water for the rehydration:  Id like to hear more about that.

 

I use room temp water as its easier.  I do really really drain it after that ...

 

then there is the " # of the bulghur "  1 - 4.  I use #2.

 

the best Ive made has 'fresh' ingredients.

 

tough in the winter in N.England


Edited by rotuts, 27 March 2013 - 03:22 PM.


#57 nickrey

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:59 AM

When I first made tabbouleh I used Claudia Roden's recipe soaking the bulghur in cold water did not soften it sufficiently. Since reading about soaking it in boiling water, I tried it and it achieved a much better consistency. This may be a function of the raw product used but it worked for me.


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#58 chileheadmike

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:01 AM

My question is curly or flat leaf parsley? I've always used curly, just curious about everyone else.
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#59 Chris Amirault

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:09 AM

I was all "flat is best" until I read Fergus Henderson's praise of curly. He was right, of course, so now I use either/both. 


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#60 Shel_B

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:59 AM

I generally prefer curly leaf parsley ... flavor profile seems more appropriate for tabouleh.


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