Phony tabbouleh

March 23, 2014  •  Category:

A very talented photographer I met on a job location was telling me about a tabbouleh called lying tabbouleh ( kezzabeh) ;  his grandmother had made it and its remarkable feature is the fact that it does not contain tomatoes. I scrambled for other sources that would mention this tabbouleh;  I found it in Lebanese celebrity chef Ramzi’s cookbook Min Turath Lubnan (about Lebanese culinary heritage). My guess is this tabbouleh was created in the Spring, before tomatoes had a chance to grow and when wild greens are plentiful in the mountains and rural areas.

In any case, I made it one day and loved it; the absence of tomatoes really bring out the lemon flavor from the dressing; this tabbouleh has a higher ratio of bulgur than the classic one with tomatoes; it is light but filling, and would be just perfect to serve with grilled kebabs or steaks. In the villages, it is made with the addition of wild greens foraged this time of year. For those of us living in an urban environment, supermarket-sourced Italian parsley, fresh mint, green onions and fine bulgur (#1) will do just fine. The dressing for this tabbouleh is the usual lemon and olive oil combo.

INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings

  • 3/4 cup fine bulgur (#1), soaked in water for 15 minutes, then drained (water squeezed out)
  • 2 bunches Italian parsley, leaves chopped fine
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped fine
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped fine (fibrous end discarded)
  • Dressing: 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup (extra-virgin) olive oil, salt to taste

NOTE: I had an avocado laying around and ate it with the tabbouleh. Scoop out the tabbouleh with romaine lettuce leaves (traditional) or cabbage leaves or fresh grape leaves or any edible green leaves. People in the mountains have told me that they sometimes used green pepper leaves. 


12 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Heakthy, frea^sh and delicious!



  2. maritachicita @ mydi says:

    Hm…. interesting variation. My husband looooves tabbouleh in any form and i think would be very interested in this variation. I like the idea about eating it with avocado as well. It must be a nice contrast of textures. x

  3. Nadege says:

    Perfect for a hot summer day. No cooking involved, warming up the kitchen.

  4. Velva says:

    Tabbouleh salad is actually one of my favorites…I make it several times a year I use a finely chopped cucumber along with the tomato. It is the lemony dressing that I enjoy most. Next time, I will not use cucumber or tomato.

    Happy spring.


  5. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Love the simplicity of this and your monochromatic green colors!

  6. Susan says:

    That looks delicious, Jourmana! Seeing your mention of field greens I’m already thinking of trying this with some chopped arugula.

  7. Oui, Chef says:

    Love the vibrant green color of this dish, it shouts SPRING!

  8. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Just the name of it is wonderful – spring?? Where??

  9. samir says:

    marhaba joumana. great variation…had to ask.are u of the finely slice the leaves of parsley( to avoid darkening) or chop?

    • Joumana says:

      @samir: I used to think that chopping parsley in the food processor was heresy, until i saw my Egyptian friend Phoebe chop her mulukhieh in my processor to perfection. so I am not so judgmental anymore, but I prefer to take my time and chop parsley by hand if possible.

  10. joe mcmaster says:

    my guess is that this may be the “original” tabouli as tomatoes are not native but are a “new world” fruit ?

Add a Comment