Summer salads: Tabbouleh

Posted by Alastair Otter on September 3, 2010
Posted in Food

My sister asked me today what salad she thought she should serve for a lunch with a friend tomorrow.

The thing about salads is that they can be supremely dull: a couple of salad leaves, tomatoes and some sort of cheese is not inspiring, even if it is easy to put together.  Fancy salads, on the other hand, are just that: fancy, over the top and time consuming.

Which is why I thought of tabbouleh. It’s certainly not dull and yet is fantastically easy to make. A little bit of chopping and you’re done.

Tabbouleh is just as well described as bulgar wheat salad (or cracked wheat). You get it in most shops and, like couscous, it doesn’t need to be cooked as such. It’s a perfect summer salad because it has the flavour of tomatoes, lemons, parsley and a light hint of spring onion.Many recipes call for huge amounts of parsley. You can adjust this according to your taste, but it does still need a healthy dose of parsley.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgar wheat (cracked wheat)
  • 2 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (vary this according to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped spring onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mint
  • 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

In a bowl soak the bulgar wheat in water for about 20 minutes and then drain well. Put the wheat into a serving bowl, add the parsley, onions, mint and tomatoes and toss it all up.

In a separate bowl whisk the olive oil and lemon juice. Pour this over the wheat mixture and you’re done.

Perfect for a summer lunch.

There are infinite variations on this salad. This is the most basic of them. You could add cucumbers, for example, to get it another fresh taste. Try it this way and then experiment.

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