Tabbouleh – the beloved national salad of Lebanon. This refreshing, lemony creation was born in the mountains of Lebanon using only a few common ingredients.
So simple and mouthwatering, the recipe was passed on through the generations and is served daily across the country. Its popularity does not stop in the Lebanese kitchen, however. The famous tabbouleh salad found its way to tabletops around the world.
But as the world witnessed the audacious ways hummus has been manipulated into things like hummus without chickpeas (!), milkshakes, ice cream, and other baked goods where it doesn’t belong, the same happened to our dear tabbouleh.
And no, this is not about the most acceptable quinoa tabbouleh, it’s worse.
We Lebanese cannot stand by and allow abominations like these to continue to exist. They must be exposed! (note: some of these actually sound yum, but that’s not the point here, isn’t it? Tabbouleh is tabbouleh, period.)
To the horror of all Lebanese, here are some bizarre recipes online that ruin tabbouleh:
#1 Broccoli Hummus Tabbouleh
Here we are, minding our business, peacefully eating our tabbouleh, when bam! Someone drops broccoli into it. Just why? It gets worse though. This recipe substitutes bulgur with broccoli rice, adds sweet corn, pepitas, and goat cheese!
Thought that was bad? Hear this: the recipe calls for a hummus-based dressing instead of the traditional olive oil and lemon juice! Result? This is no longer Tabbouleh. Not even a hybrid of it!
#2 Asparagus and herb “tabbouleh” with a tahini yogurt dressing
This salad has no business being called tabbouleh. Do you see a Tabbouleh there? Not even a hint of it. Where has gone the parsley…? And the tomatoes? Ya3neh, where are all the ingredients of the real Tabbouleh?
#3 Cauliflower rice tabbouleh
Cauliflower rice instead of bulgur? And olives??
#4 By adding cheese cubes
Where is the Tabbouleh?
#5 Strawberry tabbouleh?
Mixing strawberries, cucumbers, and bulgur and calling it tabbouleh is a big No-No. Like… seriously? What has the Tabbouleh done to you to deserve that?
#6 Tabbouleh pizza??
This one is next level.
#7 Tabbouleh with feta cheese over hummus…
Not sure what’s worse with this one, the said tabbouleh on hummus or the feta cheese in the tabbouleh.
#8 Butternut tabbouleh
Come again? What? Nooooo…
#9 Watermelon tabbouleh?
#10 Corn and Nectarine Tabbouleh
Please stop with the summer fruits. Can someone tell them Tabbouleh is not a fruit salad?
#11 With sun-blushed tomatoes and… flowers!
Someone has never eaten Tabbouleh before for sure…
#12 Another cauliflower-based salad they want to call tabbouleh
Maskeeneh Ya Tabbouleh, what has to do this salad with you… Not even close…
#13 White bean tabbouleh?
Beans instead of bulgur is like tabbouleh meets fasouliya. It’s uncomfortable.
#14 Curry tabbouleh
In case you thought you heard enough already… This salad has none of the main ingredients of tabbouleh… it calls for things like cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, coriander, curry powder, turmeric, currants, cashew nuts…
#15 Ina Garten chicken tabbouleh
Tsk tsk. It is getting worse, isn’t it?
#16 Chickpea tabbouleh with tuna…
Adding a bit of parsley to a tuna-chickpea salad doesn’t give it the right to be labeled as tabbouleh, please, and thank you.
#17 Grilled Shrimp & Lime Tabbouleh…
Just go to a Lebanese seafood restaurant and get a real tabbouleh with fresh shrimp on the side.
This is how a real Tabbouleh looks like, a close-up is a must: