Parsley. You’ve seen it in every grocery store across America. It’s always used as a supporting ingredient, it’s never the star. That is, unless you’re talking about Tabbouleh, a traditional mezze, or small plate, served throughout the middle east. Virtually all tabbouleh is composed of the same ingrediants, parsely, cucumber, tomato, mint, onion, garlic, bulgur, and tossed with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. However, the proportions used can alter the taste of this dish significantly.
I’ve had my fair share of tabbouleh over the years, and depending on where I get it, I’ve found that it is either too dry, too acidic, or tastes like I’ve just shoved a bunch of parsley in my mouth (which, if any of these have been your experience, you may think you know exactly why parsley is never the star). On the other hand, if it is done right, there’s tabbouleh that’s just so perfectly balanced, with a tangy herbasceousness, that you cease to see parsley as merely a garnish, and start to see it for its true potential – as the star of the dish.
- 2½ cups curly parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup tomato, diced
- ⅓ cup green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
- 2 Tbs fresh mint, finely chopped
- ¼ cup bulgur wheat
- 3 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- pinch of sugar
- pinch of paprika
- pinch of black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 lemon, zest
- In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours – allowing the bulgur to expand.
- Once the bulgur has softened, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.