Tabbouleh is a Lebanese salad which usually comes as part of a mezze selection of several small dishes.
Parsley, which is often unfairly relegated to the status of ‘garnish’, takes centre-stage in Tabbouleh along with mint. These herbs have anti-oxidents, minerals, essential oils and vitamins by the bucket-load. Tabbouleh also has bulgur wheat in it, which is a high fiber wholegrain commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking.
Every household will have their own special way of making Tabbouleh, so feel free to experiment and improvise. I like the proportion of two parts parsley leaves (flat-leaf, not curly) to one part mint leaves.
NOTE: Tabbouleh is a great dish to involve kids in – they love separating the leaves from the stalks, which allows you to focus on preparing the rest of the ingredients.
(Serves 6-8 as a side dish)
2oz (60g) flat-leaf parsley leaves (the weight with stalks is around 4oz (120g)), remove leaves from stalks and chop finely (discard stalks)
1oz (30g) fresh mint leaves (the weight with stalks is around 2oz (50g)), remove leaves from stalks and chop finely (discard stalks)
4 scallions (spring onions), thinly sliced
4 ripe firm tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
7oz (200g) prepared bulgur (bulgur usually needs to be boiled or soaked – check the directions on your package). I use around 2.5oz (70g) of dry bulgur to make7oz (200g) cooked bulgur.
4 Tbsp (60mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
some ground black pepper
- Prepare the bulgur according to the directions on your package. I boil 2.5oz (70g) of dried bulgur in water for 10 minutes to get 7oz (200g) of cooked bulgur. Drain and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, separate the parsley and mint leaves from their stalks (kids can help out here!). Discard the stalks, and finely chop the leaves. Put the leaves into a salad bowl.
- Chop the scallions/spring onions thinly and add them to the salad bowl.
- Deseed and finely dice the tomatoes and add them to the salad bowl.
- When the bulgur has cooled, add around 7oz (200g) to the salad bowl and mix well.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper together. Pour it over the salad and mix well.
- This dish should be served cold so refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- Tabbouleh keeps well in the refrigerator for upto 24 hours.