Tabbouleh is a classic Lebanese dish that's more of an herb salad with just a bit of grain and finely diced tomatoes. However, our version of Tabbouleh Salad brings in some of my favorite Mediterranean flavors to compliment the perky herbs and tart lemon.
Although Tabbouleh originated in Lebanon, the easy to make dish spread across the Middle East and Mediterranean to take on a variety of new mixes. For me, dates and feta cheese epitomize Mediterranean cuisine. Combined, they coordinate beautifully between their different textures and starkly different flavors. Cheese and fruit always pair well together, and these two are no exception.
And while bulgur wheat is good for the body, it doesn't bring much to the party other than being an excellent vehicle for all the other tasty ingredients. So choose your feta wisely, get high-quality heirloom and grape tomatoes, get real EVO (most of what's sold is pure crud) and don't worry too much about the dates. Ever recall eating a bad date? Yeah, me neither.
Just a quick note on tomatoes, though. You'll notice a lot of our recipes that call for tomatoes usually include Roma, grape, vine-ripened or heirloom. Sadly regular tomatoes are getting blander by the minute. It's like eating plain jello. What's the point? So source out the better varieties. Your palate will be very grateful.
Suggestions and Alternatives
- If you can't find heirloom or grape tomatoes, diced Roma tomatoes will work just fine.
- Be sure your bulgur wheat has completely cooled before adding any other ingredients. The excess heat will discolor your herbs and will melt your Feta Cheese.
- If bulgur wheat is hard for you to find, you can substitute it with Israeli Couscous.
- When making your bulgur wheat, be sure to salt the water before adding it. Because, you know, it needs all the help it can get.
- When adding feta cheese to this recipe, please use a rubber spatula and gently fold Feta tends to break up if you overwork it.
- Serve at room temperature with a Chardonnay.
- Like this salad? Try this one too, Ahi Poke Bowl.
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- 1/2 cup bulgur wheat quality
- 2 cups water cold
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 whole lemons juiced
- 1/2 bunch parsley chopped
- 1/2 cup mint chopped
- 2 cups grape tomatoes quality
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil quality
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 whole romaine lettuce shredded
- 1/4 cup red onion shaved
- 10 whole dates pitted
- 1/4 cup feta cheese quality
- bring 4 cups salted water to a boil about 8 minutes
- add bulgur wheat and cook for 8 minutes
- strain and allow to cool
- in a large bowl add minced garlic, lemon juice and grape tomatoes and dates, set aside
- shave Romaine lettuce and add to bowl
- once bulgur wheat has cooled, add to bowl and fold in olive oil, parsley, and mint.
- top it all with shaved red onion and crumbled feta cheese.