Tabbouleh is an amazingly green Lebanese salad, green in colour and green in goodness! It’s an extremely easy salad to put together, sure there’s a whole lot of chopping going on but really, for the amount here, I don’t take more than 10 minutes to put it all together, if that. Summertime is of course the perfect time to make Tabbouleh, when you not only have an abundance of parsley, but are spoilt for choice in the seemingly endless array of tomatoes!
Unfortunately, a good Tabbouleh isn’t as easy to get as you might think. More often than not, when I’m served Tabbouleh, it has a strong bulgur wheat presence, totally obscuring anything else and most definitely the parsley. A good estimate is the bulgur wheat should be about half the weight of the parsley, not amount. So if we’re going to do this, let’s start right, repeat after me – Parsley is the star of the show!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at:
How to Make Perfect Lebanese Tabbouleh
– try and get firm (but ripe) tomatoes, as you don’t want them turning to mush during chopping
– don’t be tempted to drain the tomatoes of their juices & seeds, they’ll add moisture and flavour
– step away from that food processor/chopper! It’s got to be done by hand, you want the parsley tiny but whole, not mashed/mush
– use a big sharp knife for ease and best results. Hold the tip of the knife down as a fulcrum, and chop down with the base
– everything wants chopping up fine (not so much the tomatoes of course, see recipe ingredients)
– soak, soak, soak the bulgur wheat – too many people don’t do this, what you get is a raw crunch taste, BUT please don’t go cooking it though!
- 120g flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
- 1 stalk mint, chopped finely
- 60g bulgur wheat, soaked for 15 minutes in Goldilocks water (you know - not too hot, not too cold?)
- 2 medium firm tomatoes
- 1 small spring onion, chopped finely
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil (I like the really fruity ones for this)
- juice of half a lemon (about 2 tbsp)
- half a tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp allspice
- quarter tsp Sumac
- quarter tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- Get a roomy bowl for the Tabbouleh.
- Drain and using a fine sieve, rinse the bulgur wheat until the water runs clear, give a good shake or two to get rid of excess water and place in the bowl.
- Chop the whole spring onion (green & white), and add to the bowl.
- Chop the tomatoes into tiny pieces, no bigger than 1cm, add to the bowl.
- Chop the parsley, in two go's if you have to, again very finely, add to the bowl.
- Pick the mint leaves off the stem, chop finely, into the bowl.
- In a small bowl or measuring jug, mix the rest of the ingredients and give a quick whisk. Pour the salad dressing all over the chopped ingredients.
- Using a large salad spoon/fork, gently mix the dressing in, using lifting movements. Done!