Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Burghul and parsley salad

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Alan Benson

I once prepared this salad on my television cookery show and received much criticism from members of the Lebanese community in Sydney. It was said that I used far too much burghul (bulgur) and should have mixed the tomato through the salad, not just used it as a garnish. I concede the latter point, with one reservation. If you wish to have the salad on hand for a few days in the refrigerator for convenience, then leave the tomato out and add it to the portion being served.

As to the former criticism, I still believe tabbouleh should have a large proportion of burghul to flat-leaf parsley. While in the Middle East I spoke with many excellent exponents of Lebanese cookery, and found they agreed with me.

If you beg to differ, then reduce the burghul to 45 g and increase the chopped parsley to 3 large handfuls or more.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
130g fine burghul
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
60g spring onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
60ml olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 firm ripe tomatoes

For serving

Quantity Ingredient
crisp lettuce leaves
60ml lemon juice, mixed with ½ teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Place the burghul in a bowl and cover with 500 ml cold water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the burghul through a fine sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract the moisture. Spread over a cloth and leave to dry further.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the parsley. Wash well, shake off the excess moisture and remove any thick stalks. Wrap in a tea towel and place in the refrigerator to crisp and dry.
  4. Put the burghul in a mixing bowl and add the spring onion. Squeeze the mixture with your hands so the burghul absorbs the onion flavour.
  5. Chop the parsley fairly coarsely, then measure it (you need 2 cups) and add it to the burghul with the mint.
  6. Beat the oil with the lemon juice and stir in the salt and pepper. Add to the salad and toss well.
  7. Peel the tomatoes, then remove the seeds and dice the flesh. Gently mix through the salad. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
  8. Serve in a salad bowl lined with crisp lettuce leaves. Serve the lemon juice and salt mixture separately in a jug so that it may be added according to individual taste.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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