Salads/ Starters


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Lebanese tabbouleh (also spelled Tabouli) is a Levantine salad assembled with reinvigorating chopped herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, couscous, or fine bulgur with a dressing of light lemon vinaigrette and seasoned with salt and pepper. Tabbouleh can be an excellent powerhouse salad with delicious flavors and plenty of texture. There are other variations of tabouleh dishes, to the same degree as Turkish kisir or Armenian eetch salad has much more bulgar wheat and less parsley.

You can find variations of tabbouleh that use couscous, quinoa, semolina instead of bulgar, pomegranate seeds as a substitute for chopped tomatoes, and some that use lettuce or peppers. So now you know why it’s one of the most popular salads in the Middle East, with its popularity extending globally! You will love this sentient style tabbouleh; try it.


lunch or dinner Mediterranean salad
By SS Shiva Serves: 8-12
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: Raw Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 3/4 cup fine bulgur wheat (see note 1)
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp ground caraway seeds freshly ground (buy at Asian store)
  • 1-1/2 cups finely diced English cucumber (see note 2)
  • 2 cups (10.5 oz) quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 packed cup of finely chopped fresh mint (see note 3)
  • 1 packed cup of finely chopped fresh parsley (2 bunches)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fennel bulb (1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus
  • 1 tsp zest (2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar




Bring a small pot of 1-1/4 cups of water to a boil. Meanwhile, add the bulgur to a large bowl.


Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and then pour the boiling water over, give it a quick stir then cover with a tight lid to keep warm.


Allow to sit for 15-25 minutes or until all the water is absorbed in the bulgur.


Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature. (If you're in a hurry, place it into the fridge!) We love making this part in the morning, makes the salad come together so much quicker!



In a wide-mouth jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Season to taste (I add 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper). Shake vigorously to incorporate and place in the fridge until ready to use.



Add completely cooled bulgur, cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, freshly ground caraway seeds, parsley, and sauté fennel bulb to a large bowl. Toss gently. Add dressing and toss again. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.



This salad will stay fresh in an airtight container for 2-3 days, noting that the flavor (and aroma) becomes more intense every day.


Always advisable best to eat fresh.


Before enjoying, make sure to give the stored salad a good stir and taste to see if it needs more seasoning or another squeeze of lemon. This salad doesn't freeze or thaw well.


***1. Bulgur wheat Bulgur is sprouted, dried, and broken wheat. There are different varieties, mainly varying from fine to coarseness. For this recipe fine works bulgur best, not only does it make for the best texture in this salad, but it's also so easy to prepare. When unable to find it in mainstream grocery stores, you can order online. If you don't get fine bulgur, (coarse bulgur works just as well) follow the package directions for cooking you will enjoy it both ways. ***2. Cucumbers When available get any organic cucumber they are the best. Regular cucumbers don't have enough flavor and are too watery. when not organic stick to a Japanese, English cucumber, or Persian cucumber (Persian cucumbers are sometimes labeled as mini/salad cucumbers). You'll need 1 large cucumber or about 4-5 small salad cucumbers. ***3. Fresh herbs When you use a processor to speed up the prep instead of chopping all of the herbs the result was lackluster, the herbs are browned quicker, chopped unevenly, and get watery which will ferment. Yes, it's a lot of work (put on your smile, enjoy the cooking process, and put in all your love to feed your family it's a weekend, right, or while preparing, enjoy some spiritual music going!), Believe me, this salad is best with hand-chopped herbs. Finely chop and tightly pack to get the proper measurement. Also, be sure to get flat-leaf Italian parsley, as opposed to curly for this recipe. Flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavor, and curly parsley is used more commonly as a garnish.

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