The Best Method For More Flavorful Tabbouleh

If you've ever been to a Middle Eastern restaurant, you've probably seen kabobs, rice pilaf, and a little something called tabbouleh on the menu. Known for its striking green and red colors, this salad is packed with fresh flavors and an abundance of health benefits.

The Science of Tabbouleh explains that the primary ingredients you'll find here are parsley, bulgur wheat, mint, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, and lemon juice. Instead of lettuce or some other kind of greens, the bulgur wheat acts as the "base" for the salad, which is then mixed with the other chopped ingredients, as well as the mixture of olive oil and lemon juice, per UNL Food. It's a great offset to buttery rice, smooth hummus, and rich kabob skewers that you'll find on a plate, as the salad is herbaceous and slightly acidic. And if that's not enough, you'll also receive a healthy dose of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, via Lancaster General Health.

Tabbouleh is practically perfect as is and it doesn't need much to amp up its flavor profiles. So rather than adding additional ingredients to the mix, try this easy method to make your next batch of tabbouleh restaurant-worthy.

Marinate for maximum flavor

Most salads are served fresh, but tabbouleh is one of the few exceptions. According to MasterClass, preparing tabbouleh the day before will allow the lemon juice and olive oil mixture (or any other dressing you're using) to marinate the bulgur wheat and veggies. Proteins like chicken, pork, and skirt steak all (occasionally) get marinated before cooking, so why not do the same with this type of salad?

Now if you're eager to serve (and eat) the tabbouleh the same day, food blog May I Have That Recipe? states that it's fine to wait two or three hours for the salad to marinate instead of the whole day. And if you're worried about the salad becoming soggy, Concord Monitor recommends adding some salt to the chopped tomatoes beforehand so all that moisture can drain out. Without this step, the tomatoes may add some mushy textures and watery flavors to the salad, per America's Test Kitchen.

So next time you're making a bowl of tabbouleh, be sure to let the salad marinate with olive oil and lemon juice before serving. You'll get much more of those lemon flavors as well as smoothness from the olive oil, which helps to make the entire meal that much better.