Tabbouleh (also spelled Tabouleh) is a Levantine dish made from finely chopped parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes and other veggies. It usually forms part of a range of small snack dishes called Mezze – a sort of Eastern tapas! Enjoy tabbouleh as a light lunch or a starter and follow the traditional way of eating it by scooping it up with vine leaves. For a more readily-available accompaniment, Romaine or Cos lettuce leaves work well. Or, add it to pitta bread. You can also enjoy it instead of rice along with some grilled chicken if you want your dose of good-quality meat protein.
Here’s my tabbouleh, with a slight twist to make it extra tasty while still being super healthy!
Tabbouleh Ingredients (serves 4 as a side dish or starter and 2 as a lunch)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp coarsely-milled black pepper
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1/4 cup cracked bulgur wheat
½ red onion finely chopped
140g flat-leaf parsley stalks removed and finely chopped
140g fresh mint leaves finely chopped
140g cucumbers chopped
225 (around 20) vine-ripened cherry or piccolo tomatoes, quartered
Most tabbouleh recipes call for soaking the bulgur in cold water for a couple of hours but try soaking it in the lemon and olive oil dressing instead for added flavour. Also, good quality extra virgin olive oil can be slightly bitter so instead of standard tomatoes I’ve used vine-ripened cherry or piccolo tomatoes quartered to add sweetness which balances the acidity or the combined oil and lemon juice.
- Using a fork or balloon whisk lightly mix the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Add the bulgur, cover and set aside for 1½ hours (or longer if you want a less coarse texture).
- In the meantime, mix your other ingredients together in a large bowl and refrigerate.
- Once the soaking time is over, add the bulgur to the bowl of veggies and herbs and mix together. Refrigerate again until ready to serve. As with most foods it always tastes better the next day after the flavours in ingredients have had time to blend.