tabbouleh (bulgar wheat salad)

tabbouleh - bulgar wheat salad
A simple but delicious Middle Eastern herb salad that zings with flavour, perfect for a hot summer day. It would seem that my optimism that the sun would make an appearance this weekend was rewarded and as such was the perfect opportunity to make this salad to accompany our Sunday lunch out in the garden.

One of the secrets to a good tabbouleh, is plenty of parsley, the bulgur wheat is more of an afterthought. The second is to slice the parsley by hand (I use a mezzaluna for speed). Don't try to speed things up by using a food processor as you will end up with a mush of parsley, rather than the small flecks required).

Having said that one of the secrets is plenty of parsley, indeed plenty of herbs. I do actually prefer mine with a little less parsley and only a smattering of mint, so this is not a traditional recipe but one that zings with flavour nonetheless. Perfect with grilled or roasted lamb, or stuffed into pitta with falafels or hummous.

Serves 4 to 6
Skill level: Easy

250g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
6-8 spring onions, finely chopped
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
half tsp ground allspice
half tsp freshly ground black pepper
50g bulgur wheat (fine ground)
12 baby plum tomatoes, cut into eighths
half a cucumber, seeded and diced (about the same size as the tomato pieces)
4-5 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

  1. Put the bulgur wheat in a sieve and rinse under the cold tap for a good 5 minutes or until the water runs clear. Press down to release the excess water. Give the sieve a good shake and leave to drain and dry out for another 10 minutes or so.
  2. Add the chopped parsley and spring onions to a bowl, together with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, allspice and pepper. Stir lightly to combine. 
  3. Stir in the drained bulgur wheat and stir. Set aside (covered with a tea-towel or in the fridge) for about 30 minutes. This will give the bulgur wheat a chance to soak up all the liquid and flavours. 
  4. Before serving, toss with the chopped tomatoes, cucumber and chopped mint.  
  5. You may need to adjust the seasoning according to taste.

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