Growing up in Armenia, Tabbouleh was one of the common salads that my paternal Grandma would make for our family. I remember her making a huge batch not only for us, but for her neighbor friends as well. Even though for me, it was just Tabbouleh, but for her friends, it meant a lot more. They would come over to our house to have Tabbouleh like it was a special occasion.
From early on, I understood and learned from my Grandma not only about food, but about our culture. I learned that Armenians had a strong past and that lot of my Grandma’s cooking came from her upbringing. Growing up in Turkey and moving to Lebanon after the Armenian Genocide exposed her to lot of food that Armenians in Armenia were not accustomed to. When she came to Armenia in 1940′s, Tabbouleh was one of the dishes that came with her. She would serve her salad with whole Romaine Lettuce Leaves. She taught me to eat Tabbouleh by putting a big tablespoonful on top of a whole lettuce leaf. Until now, I love having this salad with lettuce leaves. It tastes so much better.
Tabbouleh was her history and what she grew up with and it has remained in my family’s kitchen thanks to her. Since she’s close to her 90′s now, my mom is our go to person for Tabbouleh and for lot of other great dishes.
It is a very simple salad to prepare with lot of flavor and “good for you” ingredients.
Although, I love my Grandma’s version, I wanted to change her recipe a little by incorporating sun dried tomatoes, roasted peppers and garlic. If you truly want her version, you can eliminate my additions and extra herbs. I just woke up one day and pictured this in my head and thought to give it a shot.
Usually, in my family we serve Tabbouleh with french fries, but you can serve it with meets, sprinkled feta cheese, or just simply on top of greens.
1/2 cup fine Bulgur
3 bunches of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh purple basil, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
5 tomatoes, chopped
4 cucumbers, chopped
2 roasted red bell peppers, chopped
3 roasted garlic cloves
12 sun dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
2-3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp Aleppo red pepper, or Cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
To prepare the Bulgur, rinse it out a few times and drain. (Best to leave 1/4 cup water with the bulgur to help get moist.) Let it seat on a plate to get moist for about 30 minutes.
To prepare the salad, combine the next 7 ingredients in a salad bowl.
To prepare the dressing, combine the sun dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and process it until it forms a fine paste. Slowly add the olive oil, while the food processor is running.
To serve mix the Bulgur, salad and dressing together. Add salt and Aleppo red pepper to taste.