Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Taboule

print recipe card posted in Soups, Salads, Sides and Sauces, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

Taboule (pronounced: tuh-boo-lee) is a Middle Eastern wheat salad. It is eaten cold and is a terrific substitute for a potato or rice dish. It needs to chill for at least 1 hour before serving. It’s actually best to make it the day before serving so that all the flavors blend together.

This box mix requires NO cooking.

In addition to the box mix of taboule, you will need:

  • 1 cup of chopped fresh tomato
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh mint (optional)

The box of taboule not only contains the wheat but also a separate spice packet.

Put the wheat and the contents of the spice packet in a large bowl.

Stir in 1 cup of boiling water.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Before chopping the tomato, remove the seeds by first slicing the tomato in half.

(The stem bit should be on the right or left of the knife when you are cutting it in half. If you cut it in half by slicing through the stem you will not be able to remove the seeds.)

Give each half a gentle squeeze or with your fingers poke out the seeds. (Throw away the seeds!)

Now chop the tomato. (Just set it aside for the moment.)

Stack about 7 or 8 mint leaves on top of each other.

Roll the stack into a log…

…and chop the mint into very fine ribbons.

Instead of or in addition to the mint, you could add extra parsley. (In the comments below, many people said they add up to one whole bunch of chopped parsley!)

Now squeeze the juice from ½ of a lemon. Be sure to strain away any seeds.

When the timer goes off, it’s time to remove the bowl of taboule from the refrigerator and add the chopped tomato, mint, lemon juice, AND 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix everything together.

Cover up the bowl again and put it back in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

When you are ready to serve the taboule give it a stir and then spoon it onto a bed of lettuce garnished (decorated) with slices of lemon and mint leaves.

Enjoy!

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16 Comments

Jon Sacker said:

Kathy, I think the first time I ever had this salad was when I came to stay with you back in the Summer of 1985 and I still remember eating that dish.

Do try making this; it’s so very easy and full of taste.

Jon Sacker said:

Woops, somehow the first bit of my post got truncated. What I meant to say was “I have to admit (to my chagrin as a keen cook) that I really, really don’t like fresh tomatoes, but this is one salad with tomatoes I really do enjoy (though I do sometimes make it with sweet red peppers instead).“. And in fact, if I’m feeling in a realy cooking mood, then grilling or roasting the peppers makes a fantastic addition.

Kathy Maister said:

What a great substitution! Even though I do like fresh tomatoes I am definitely going to try making this with red pepper. Thanks Jon!

will said:

Hi Kathy,

In the Middle East, Taboule is mainly a parsely salad, and not so much a cracked wheat salad.

If you were making it Lebanese or Palestinian style, you would basically chop up a huge bunch of super fresh parsely (flat leaf kind) very fine into a salad bowl and throw in 1-2 cups of the mixture you made and toss together.

you cannot save the leftovers for long; usually you won’t have to !

Stephan said:

I have to agree with Will, traditionally this is more of a parsley salad than it is a cracked wheat salad. Whenever I go to a traditional Mediterranean restaurant (or when I’m in Meditteranaen area) there is a lot of parsley and a little wheat.

This is a great recipe though. I usually eat Taboule inside of pita bread with some lamb or seasoned beef.

Kathy Maister said:

This is clearly the *Americanized* version of Taboule! I love parsley and always have it in the refrigerator. I wash right away so that it is ready to use. (You can wash it the same way you would wash lettuce.)

Jenna said:

I love this stuff, but I also add chopped onion and chunks of chicken to mine and make it more of a light lunch meal…

I made this for a company luncheon, and they loved it!

Kathy Maister said:

What a great idea! If the warm weather ever comes, I’ll give that a try!

Jan said:

I LOVE this salad. I just made it last night, but I also add some chopped cucumber, kalamata olives, and feta cheese that has sundried tomatoes & herbs. It’s fantastic!!! Try it, you’ll like it.

JO said:

The salad you are describing is a Turkish Salad. Not to confuse with Taboule. Taboule has more parsley than weat. Also add finely chopped oignons and toss with lots of lemon juice and olive oil.

Kathy Maister said:

Jan that salad sounds delicious! I think there is a varriation of it on the back of the “Near East” box.

Jo, thanks for the clarification. Black olives and feta cheese are two of my favorite foods!

Jane said:

Recipes sound wonderful. Going to by MidEast when I go to the store in the morning. How muchparsley do you use instead of all the wheat?

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Jane, The amount of parsley is adjustable according to your taste. Buy a “bunch”, wash it well, and dry it. (The “How to…” links are above!) Finely chop 1/2 cup of parsley. Mix it in and then give it a taste to see it you want to add a bit more. Some recipes have just a bit of wheat added to a ton of parsley!

simon said:

I love this salad! I cook the bulgur wheat like I cook rice but I also add tomato. It is lovely!

startcooking said:

Tomato and bulgar wheat are a great flavor combination. Fortunately, with the recipe above there is no cooking involved!

dals said:

the taboule i know is done in a different way, and i’m sure it will taste better than this one, coz its refreshing , and we don’t use hot water, neither this big amount of wheat! the main ingredients are: parsley, tomatos, onions, mint , and a small amount (as much as a cup of coffee) of this wheat. and for the dressing we use olive oil, lemon juice and salt..