Salads are a great accompaniment to many Middle Eastern dishes and in following this month’s theme we’ve decided to treat you to one of the region’s best salads.
The Taboulleh salad, is quite easily one of the most common Middle Eastern salads you are likely to find in menus around the world. It is light, high in nutritional content and quite easy to make. Though it doesn’t take much to put a good salad together, if you don’t mind the dicing and chopping, there are a few common mistakes that could turn what was meant to be a great tasting salad into a big bowl of obscure tastes.
To make sure you are making the best version of this amazing salad, which is featured in our cookbook this month, we are going to walk you through a few tips to bring out the best in your Taboulleh.
- Dry your greens
The Taboulleh, which is traditionally served as an accompaniment to a beverage, contains many greens like the Romaine lettuce, cucumber and a few herbs. What you don’t want to do is wash these greens without drying them. One sure way to have an amazing salad is to make sure everything is crisp and tasty. Not drying your greens after washing will make your salad soggy and because fats and oils don’t mix with water, your salad dressing will have very little effect.
- Get the mix right
It is quite common to find that in attempting to make a salad, many people randomly mix a bunch of different vegetables with no consideration for taste. There really isn’t an official formula, but you want to aim for a leafy green, two to three other vegetables, a protein, one or two fun extras, and a dressing. With the Taboulleh, there’s lean protein from the Bulgur wheat (or couscous), cucumber, mint and romaine lettuce with a perfect blend of virgin olive oil and lime juice.
- Mind the seasoning
Do not be too surprised to learn that salt and a dash of pepper belong in a bowl of salad. Many people usually do the virgin oil splash with some lime juice but that is not enough. Your salad could end up tasting rather bland. Just like with the Taboulleh, be sure to sprinkle some salt and pepper on your salad before tossing it, you’ll appreciate the burst of flavour.
- Use the right amount of dressing
While we can all agree that salad dressings hold the key to an amazing salad, it is important to make sure you are using just the right amount. Too much of it would leave you with a soggy salad bowl that could be mistaken for an exotic bowl of soup and too little of it can be quite underwhelming. To strike the right balance, aim for 1 to 2 Tbsp of dressing for every 4 cups of greens.
- Know when to dress
It is perfectly fine to pour your salad dressing over your mix when you’re ready to eat but if you are making salad for later, you want to hold off on the dressing until you are ready to serve. Because of the content of most salad dressings, the greens in your salad could lose their crunchiness leaving you with a soggy mess. In the same vein, the acidity of the lime juice causes the vegetables in the Taboulleh to start breaking down so an ideal way to do it is to only dress when ready to consume.
Next time you are thinking of making a salad, why not try the Taboulleh? Now that you are fully equipped with all the trade secrets for making this world famous salad there is no way you will get it wrong. The best thing about this is that you can find all the ingredients to make this salad right here in Ghana.
For more directions on making this and other amazing Middle eastern delicacies, download our Middle Eastern themed recipe book. Happy cooking!
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