Authentic Lebanese Tabooli
8 cups 4 bunches Parsley
1 cup Cracked wheat, burgul
2 large Tomato
1 small white Onion
6 green onions chopped with half the scallions
1 cup Lemon
1 cup Extra Virgin Oil
1 cup chopped fresh mint or 2 tablespoons dried
2 teaspoons salt
As a child I sat by my mother’s arm at least a thousand times, while she chopped the parsley for tabooli. I would collect parsley stalks and place them in bunches ready for her to chop. Eventually I had to learn to do it all by myself, but it’s still much more pleasant to have my mom around to do the chopping. I know there are a lot of recipes out there for this dish. But, as I always say, mines the best. Handed down from mothers and daughters in my family for generations. Tabooli is all about the parsley not the burgul. Tabooli is parsley and the burgul is just an ingredient not the major player.
Chopping the parsley is an art in and of it’s self. In the old country cooks were judged on how fine they could chop the parsley. As many times as I have made this dish I still would not consider making this dish for any one of those judges. I do the best I can and that is really all you can expect from yourself. However there is a technique. To me tabooli is best the second day so chopping the parsley in a food process only creates brushed parsley that is never good the second day. I suggested trying it the old fashion
Before chopping the parsley chop the onions very fine and place in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 of the salt and rub together with the onions. Add finely chopped tomatoes and all of the juices left on the cutting board, burgul and a dash of pepper. Mix together and leave to soak while you chop the parsley.
The parsley needs to be cleaned well before you intend to chop it. Rinse the parsley well. Fill the sink with cold water and drop the parsley in to soak for about fifteen minutes. Carefully remove the parsley from the water and rinse one more time for good measure. Once clean set the parsley out to dry. I usually try and do this the day before because the parsley really needs to be dry before you chop it. Still a couple of hours ahead will suffice. Start by taking each piece of dry parsley stalk and line it up in your hand by the flower until you get a good hand full that you can control without losing grip of the pieces. Place the bunch on a cutting board and cut off the stems where the flowers begin. Grab the bunch in your fingers and squeeze for control much like making a chiffonade, and begin to chop the parsley as fine as you can, readjusting your hold as you chop. Continue this process until you have chopped all of the parsley.
Add the parsley and chopped mint to the onion tomato mixture and mix well. Add lemon, extra virgin olive oil, salt and mix completely. Adjust salt if necessary. Tabooli is traditionally served as a first course with loose lettuce leafs used to scoop up the glorious mixture instead of a spoon. I happen to love the way tabooli taste mixed up with the rest of the food on my plate. Either way it’s still delicious. I’d love to hear your comments or help solve any problems if they may arise, so email me atTo your health!! Serves 6 to 8