Druze Tabbouleh Salad

watching the preparation (1984)

While living in Israel in the early 80's my mom became good friends with the wife of an Arab judge. Mrs. T would take us to places around Israel that we would never have had the chance to visit on our own. One of those places was a Druze village on Mt. Carmel.

On one visit, a Druze family offered to show my mom how to make tabbouleh salad and invited us to stay for a meal. It was a labor intensive preparation. The women sat on the floor and chopped the mint, tomatoes, onions, and parsley. When the salad was ready, we sat on low stools around a communal platter and scooped up the salad with lettuce leaves.

My mom continued to make this salad for us as we grew up and now we make it for EJ.

she enjoys the flavors and textures of all the ingredients

our plate

We usually serve it with hummus, lebneh, olives and pita; the same way my mom did for us. Here is the recipe that is very similar to how the Druze make the salad.

Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
2 cups bulgur (presoaked for 1 hour)
3 cups parsley, finely minced
1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground
1/4 tsp. cumin seed, ground
1/2 tsp. salt
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 head romaine lettuce, washed with leaves separated
3 tbsp. olive oil

To presoak bulgur, place 2 cups bulgur in a bowl. Pour 2 cups water over bulgur and let stand 1 hour.

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, gently mix together all ingredients, except the lemon juice, oil, cucumber slices and romaine leaves. Add the lemon juice, toss and chill for 1 hour to blend the flavors. Before serving, toss again with olive oil. Serve in a mound with romaine lettuce leaves arranged like the spokes of a wheel. Scatter cucumber slices over romaine leaves. Serves six.

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