Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tabouli for One?

Okay, so sometimes I make foods that I don't necessarily like. Tabouli is one of them, or tabbouleh, however you like to spell it. It's my hub's favorite salad. He grew up on it. It's quite possible his mom swapped out tabouli for formula when he was a baby. I have also heard stories of him eating an entire steak by the time he was one. He can eat massive bowls of tabouli...seriously. For me, I don't even taste it for the seasoning.  I have him taste it then I season appropriately. It's the raw tomatoes and green onion that put me off. I just don't like them. For him, it's like heaven in a bowl.

It is a bit time consuming and unfortunately it doesn't make much either. I increased the recipe a bit, because it just erks me that I will spend 30 minute making this salad and it's gone in two. This is based off of his mom's recipe, which may I remind you, and he is extremely emphatic on this point, is the REAL way to make tabouli.

You should see how my husband's hair stands on end when we walk into a Middle-Eastern store or restaurant or any restaurant for that matter, and they have what they claim to be tabouli and it's mostly Bulgar wheat with a touch of parsley. Oh my! And don't even think of adding garbanzo beans or garlic or any other extra ingredient. You've lost him right there. Tabouli could be the scale on which he rates authenticity. I guess this could be a good gauge on which to rate potential friends or maybe politicians. "Quick question before we go any further in this campaign (or friendship). What is the ratio of parsley to Bulgar wheat in tabouli?" Politician, hesitates and then without even answering, Sammy blurts, "Wrong!" Well, just count him out, off the ballot and not even the hope of a swinging chad could save him or her. Is that a true representation of Sammy? No, but is it that important? YES. The right answer would be tons of parsley to a tiny bit of Bulgar wheat. Also, the salad must be JUICY. Very, very important.

I had my son, Isaiah, help me make the tabouli yesterday. He loves to "cooking". (always with the "ing"). I gave him a plastic knife and try to teach him the principles of handling a knife. It's a total joke. I can barely cut with it. And here I am giving an already frustrated three-year-old, for you know they are always frustrated, an extremely difficult task that I can barely do. Nevermind that, I just praise him for the half-mangeled wad of tomato, bleeding it's little tomato guts out on the cutting board.

Have you ever tried to cut a tomato with a flimsy plastic knife? Ridiculous.What's even more ridiculous is that half the time he was holding the knife the wrong side down and let me tell you, he wasn't getting anywhere with that. It's kinda like the same phenomenon that my kids have for the "backward-sies". For instance, the endless compulsion to wear sunglasses upside-down or continually put shoes on the wrong feet, just 'cuz. To eat their yogurt with the other end of their spoon or buckle themselves into their booster seats, even though they don't need it but just do it because it's fun. Okay, that last thing is not a backwards thing but it drives me crazy! Anyways, same thing with the knife. I must have told him to cut with the serrated edge like 15 times, yet he still managed to always revert back to the dull side then complaining he couldn't do it. Oh my. Please believe me when I say we had fun. We really did. Just tryin' to paint an accurate picture for you. 

And just for a little extra seasoning, Isaiah kept licking the tomato he was feverishly trying to cut with the "knife" then throwing it into the bowl. Oh Lord, quality control I guess. So Sammy, I guess you now know that there was a little something special in that salad, just for Father's Day. We love you, Daddy!

Tabouli Recipe

prep time: 45 minutes cook time: none serves: 4 normal people servings or 1, if you're Sammy

3 bunches curly parsley, flat leaf is fine, but this is what his mom uses
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
juice of 1 and 1/4 lemons
1/3 c. Bulgar wheat (cracked wheat)
1/3 c. olive oil
salt and pepper

Wash, rinse and thoroughly dry your parsley. Mix lemon juice and wheat together to soften the wheat. Let it stand 30 minutes, while you prep the rest of the salad.

In your food processor, or by hand, chop the parsley very finely. Not in the food processor, chop your tomatoes and green onions. Mix together, wheat, lemon juice, parsley, tomato and green onion with oil, salt and pepper.

Now, I will say, this is just a guideline. If you like yours more tangy, increase the lemon juice, more oil if you like it wetter etc. Sammy tastes the salad at least twice before we get it right. Happy Tabouli-ing!


  1. Some of the best dang Taouli ever! I consider myself to be an authority on taste since I have eaten it about gazillion times from varying people, stores, and restaurants since infancy :) I already polished off the whole portion that the recipie called for since dinner blood may be green by now.

    Thanks babe,

    Love you

  2. Crap I mean Tabouli! Where is spell check when you need it?

  3. HaaHaa! Your too funny. I never really liked Tabbouhli until recently... when I had it fresh from a friend of mine who made it "authentic" like you posted. Yum! Of course my favorite way to eat it is w pita bread and baba ganoush as an accompaniment.
    Great post! I have been wanting to make this for myself! thx.

  4. I have had it that way, but I'm sorry to say I don't make authentic Tabouli....too much bulgar in mine, but my girls do like it....sigh

  5. I think it's awesome that your kids cook with you. I'm really hoping to work on that whole patience thing so my future kids can cook with me (right now, I'm pretty darn territorial with my kitchen). Plus, this tabouli looks fabulous!

  6. I've been looking for a tabouli recipe... and btw, I'm just as weird as Sammy in being able to eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. Thanks!


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