Tabbouleh + Spearmint Essential Oil

Tabbouleh is Lebanon's National Food, reputed to be a staple of the local diet there, and in Syria, since the Middle Ages. It's juicy, satisfying, healthy, tangy, and salty! How many foods do you know that are deliciously deserving of a national day in honor of its celebration?


It's also one of those dishes that can be made 50 different ways. Chances are, the one you grew up with, or tried first, will be the benchmark for your mouth. That's certainly the case for me. Sometimes, the recipes are distinct enough to merit their own title, from the Turkish 'kisir', to Cypriot 'tambouli', or the Domincan's 'tipile'.


I explore this nourishing dish every chance I get (even from 'fast food' chains) because you just never know what's going to hit. I've yet to try one I didn't enjoy. The recipe I first learned was shared with me by an Armenian family (though, it sits in the Lebanese category).


Spearmint essential oil replaces fresh or dried mint in my recipe. Spearmint is more mellow than peppermint, adding a sweetness that isn't present in the dried herb. It's also potent! One drop is plenty.


Note: You must use essential oils that are specifically labelled as safe to ingest.



Ingredients


+ 1/2 cup of bulgur* (make ahead and allow to cool)

+ 1 big bunch of curly parsley

+ 1 small sweet or yellow onion

+ 1 large beefsteak or heirloom tomato

+ 1-2 lemons

+ EVOO

+ 1 tbsp paprika

+ sea salt

+ fresh ground pepper

+ dōTERRA Spearmint essential oil


* Use cooked quinoa or hemp seeds if omitting wheat. Prepare the bulgur or quinoa ahead of time and allow to cool completely. Hemp seeds are amazing because they're zero prep! I’ve used millet, and it works nicely, but the texture is not my top pick for this dish. Apparently, lentils and farro can also stand-in for bulgur!


Directions

  1. Chop parsley until it's relatively fine. You want to cut up the curly bits so they no longer look like whole pieces. Stop when it’s a medium-fine shred.

  2. Chop your onion into tiny bits.

  3. Chop your tomato. I omit the seeds because their watery sacs add a lot of moisture, but you can include the liquid-seedy bits in your salad if you don't mind!

  4. Juice the fist lemon into a small dish. Add all the onion, salt, pepper, paprika and spearmint oil to the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Shake it up if you can! The acid of the lemon juice mellows the raw onions. I also use more lemon than olive oil, but most would invert that ratio. I love an unhealthy amount of salt but you do you!

  5. Add the olive oil to the dressing last, and emulsify by shaking or stirring vigorously.

  6. Toss the parsley and bulgur (or sustitute) into the bowl and mix it up before adding your dressing.

  7. Pour the dressing over the greens and grains. Now the fun part - SQISH them - well, massage them - with your hands! This is the secret to a great tabbouleh in my opinion, so don't skip it!

  8. Add toamtoes and gentle toss to coat/combine.

  9. Eye out the quantities when you're finished. The final product should look balanced, without anything looking too overpowering. Except the parsley. The parsley is generally supposed to be the star.

  10. If you feel like it’s not juicy enough, or any of the tastes need adjustment based on your preferences, do so!

I've added cucumbers to this salad, and I enjoy it. Sweet peppers, not so much. I also do a 'quick + easy' version that is just parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and onion. It's probably not 'tabbouleh' at that point, but it still hits the same spot!


Now that I've typed this out, I'm craving it again.


Please share your take on this recipe with me!


Mel, xo

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* All statements are my own, not endorsed by any organization or institution.

** Please take care to note: I'm not a health care practitioner. I'm simply sharing the experiences and results I've had on my personal, natural health and healing journey. You should always consult a trusted health care practitioner for advice specific to your body, well being, and needs.

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