I first met tabouleh when it appeared in a local bistro many years ago. Served as part of a chicken and tabouleh sandwich, it quickly became my favourite bought lunch. I’ve since learned how to make it, and it appears a few times over summer, especially at barbecues and parties.
Our middle eastern cookbook tells us the best way to eat tabouleh is to make a parcel by folding it into a lettuce leaf or some pita bread. We just eat it by the spoonful!
I’ve made it for this week’s Fiesta Friday so everyone can share my favourite party salad. I’ve brought some lettuce leaves (not in the picture) so you can make little wraps as the Middle Eastern cookery author suggests. I hope you like it as much as I do.
- 1 cup of burghul (cracked wheat)
- 1½ cups of boiling water
- 1 cucumber
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 green capsicum (optional)
- 1 small onion or 4 spring onions (scallions)
- 1 clove of garlic
- parsley (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons of mint
- salt (to taste)
- juice from 2-3 lemons (about ¼ cup)
- olive oil
- Combine the burghul and boiling water in a large bowl and let it stand for at least half an hour, until the burghul is soft.
- In the meantime, finely chop the onion (or scallions), garlic, cucumber, parsley, capsicum, tomatoes and the herbs.
- When the burghul is ready, stir in the lemon juice, salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Then add the chopped ingredients and mix in gently, but until they are thoroughly mixed. You can add a bit more olive oil if you want a smoother tabouleh.
- Let it stand for at least an hour before serving to let the flavours develop.
How much parsley? I like tabouleh with lots of parsley, but the various cookbooks I have suggest anything from 4 tablespoons to a packed cup. I tend to use at least a cup.
Sources: The best ideas for middle eastern food come from my Middle Eastern Cookery book, by Arto der Haroutunian. His advice was to rinse the burghul until the water runs clear. Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook suggested just soaking the burgul instead, so that’s what I do.