Tabouli is a family classic in my house, straight from my Mediterranean roots, and with summer in full swing, this antioxidant-packed salad can be especially delicious on a hot day. Traditional tabouli is all curly parsley and a bit of bulgur, the opposite of what you often get at the deli, which is usually all bulgur with a sprinkle of curly parsley. I sometimes substitute green curly kale if I want to make a big batch since that will last longer and not get as soggy as parsley after a day or two.
Parsley is a rich source of flavonoids and antioxidants, as well as folate, vitamins K, C, and A. The types of flavonoids in parsley are lutein, lycopene, carotenes, and zeaxanthin – all known to be great antioxidants for eye health and the immune system. If you use kale, the power of this is multiplied with the addition of magnesium, calcium, and iron, among other trace minerals.
Authentic Tabouli Recipe
- ⅔ c extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ c lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
- ½ c extra-fine bulgur wheat; or if gluten-free, 1/2 c cooked quinoa
- 4 bunches curly parsley (about 4 c), chopped
- 1-2 vine-ripe firm tomatoes, diced finely
- 2 green onions (both green and white part), chopped finely
- ¼ c fresh mint leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Note: You can scale this recipe up as needed. A food processor works best for the curly parsley, so it is chopped into tiny pieces. You will want to wash the parsley very well, unless you like sandy grit in your salad (I don’t recommend it)!
- Place the bulgur wheat in 2 c of warm water for 20 minutes.
- While the bulgur soaks, chop the curly parsley (or kale, but choose a firmer green), tomatoes, onions, and mint. Combine in a bowl.
- Combine and mix the olive oil, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses, and pour over the veggies.
- Squeeze handfuls of the bulgur in your hand to remove excess water and put in the salad.
- Salt and pepper, to taste.