This simple recipe tastes great alongside lamb kebabs, chickpea falafel or in a halloumi pitta – the possibilities are endless! Get the recipe below.
Sometimes even I forget which recipes I’ve shared on the blog over the years. This simple recipe for authentic tabbouleh is one of them. One of our favourite dinners is feast of Middle Eastern treats from baba ghanoush to falafel, cous cous and tabbouleh. Because of its low fat and low carbohydrate make up it’s a really low calorie dish that is jam packed full of flavour.
Tabbouleh is a fresh tasting Levantine dish / salad made from big bunches or herbs and a little cracked wheat. A lot of people think of it as a bulgur wheat salad but the best, most authentic Lebanese tabbouleh is more parsley than anything else. Start with a big bunch of super fresh, Parsley lightly washed in ice cold water and cut finely with a sharp knife. Get the base right and you’re on to a winner.
The remaining key ingredients are mint, onion, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. For mint again you need a sharp knife and slick knife skills to get beautifully cut ribbons of mint threaded throughout the dish. The best tabbouleh has a ration of roughly 1 part mint to 4 parts parsley.
There are thousands of recipes on the internet and some include variations such as garlic, lettuce, or even cous cous instead of bulgur wheat, but for purists, bulgur wheat is actually considered optional! I don’t pretend to know the history behind tabbouleh and this recipe certainly isn’t one passed down from my ancestors. But I do know one thing, herb flecked bulgur wheat is no tabbouleh. It should be bright green and zingy! If it’s not, it’s just not tabbouleh!
If you do feel the need to add a grain to your tabbouleh but are looking for a gluten free option, why not try adding quinoa!
For more of a fruity note, why not adding pomegranate seeds? If you like the idea of this you’ll love my pomegranate and pistachio tabbouleh.
If you want to eat your quick and easy salad in the traditional way, scoop up your tabbouleh with small cos lettuce leaves, though personally I prefer it alongside grilled meats like kofte, or falafel, hummus and pita. I also love it stuffed in a wholemeal pitta with slices of grilled halloumi, the sharp flavours really compliment the salty cheese!
Can you tell this has become a bit of a staple for us now? It’s rare we don’t have a big tupperware full of it in the fridge. It really brightens up every and any meal and makes a great snack or light lunch.
A sharp knife and a chopping board are really all you need to get this simple tabbouleh recipe from screen to plate.
- 40g bulgur wheat
- 2 large vine tomatoes
- 1 large bunch of parsley (leaves only) (finely chopped)
- 1 small bunch of mint leaves (finely chopped)
- 4 spring onions
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt flakes
- Black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 pomegranate
- Cook bulgur wheat according to your packets instructions (usually 10-15mins in boiling water) spread half out onto a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes at 160C.
- Chop tomatoes, finely slice spring onions, add the untoasted half of the bulgur wheat in a bowl.
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil and spices. Mix together well.
- Next add the herbs along with olive oil and toss well.
- Season to taste with the salt, pepper and lemon.
- Scatter with the pomegranate and the toasted bulgur wheat.
I’ve not come across anyone who doesn’t love this recipe. I’m pretty excited about serving it up at my first BBQ of the year! We’ll finally be hosting a house warming at the end of April and I can’t wait to put my new BBQ smoker to use! Definitely watch this space for some exciting recipes. Until then, I’ll just have to keep getting the griddle out.
Come back again soon!