Tabbouleh is a parsley salad. Let me clarify again; it is not a bulghur wheat salad with a sprinkle of parsley as I have seen in many supermarkets. Some people in Lebanon don’t even add bulghur wheat and if they do it has to be fine bulghur wheat not the coarse one. Soak the bulghur wheat about five minutes before serving the tabbouleh as you don’t want it too soggy.
In every family Lebanese family there is someone who is really really good at making tabbouleh. In mine it’s my husband because he is more meticulous than me and doesn’t rush it 😁 Although some people use a food processor to chop the parsley I don’t recommend it as it becomes slushy and uneven. You also want to use nice red salad tomatoes that are still a bit firm as they will be too difficult to chop if they are mushy. Using the best basic ingredients is key so when choosing your bunch of parsley, the leaves should be vibrant and not too coarse, the lemons should be fat and juicy and the extra virgin olive oil the best you can afford.
A brilliant tabbouleh can only be achieved by chop chop chopping the parsley again and again until it is fine enough. Don’t be stingy with the olive oil as the parsley soaks it up and you don’t want it dry. I love eating tabbouleh with grilled meats and a side of chips (hand-cut obviously) and it is also substantial enough to be eaten by itself as a light dinner (a side plate of hummus wouldn’t hurt either). But everyone knows the best and messiest way to eat tabbouleh is to scoop it up in gem lettuce leaves and scoff it down in the most inelegant way possible. Sometimes it just has to be done 😊
- 1 large bunch of parsley
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ⅓ small onion
- 1-2 stalks spring onion
- Few sprigs of mint
- 1 large juicy lemon
- 1 tspn salt
- Tiny pinch of seven spice
- ½ tspn sumac
- 1 tbspn fine bulghur wheat
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Wash the tomatoes, parsley and mint.
- Hold the bunch of parsley tightly between one hand and finely chop with a sharp knife.
- Slice the tomato into several rings, then finely chop each one.
- Chop the mint and onion finely. Add everything to a large bowl.
- Sprinkle on the seven spice, sumac and salt.
- Soak the bulghur wheat for five minutes before serving.
- Add a generous drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.
- Squeeze the lemon and add to the bowl, taste everything and balance the dressing with extra salt/lemon if required.
- Add the bulghur wheat and mix thoroughly.
- Serve with optional lettuce leaves.
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