First published July 2013. Updated July 2017.
Tabbouleh is an amazingly green Lebanese salad, green in colour and green in goodness! It’s an extremely easy salad to put together, sure there’s a whole lot of chopping going on but really, for the amount here, I don’t take more than 10 minutes to put it all together, if that. Not taking into account the soaking of the bulgur wheat, which takes 15 minutes, during which time, you’ll be chopping!
Ok, ok, you’ve twisted my arm: use hand hot water, and you can get away with soaking the bulgur wheat for just 10 minutes, cutting the time down even further.
Summertime is of course the perfect time to make Tabbouleh, when you not only have an abundance of parsley, but are spoilt for choice in the seemingly endless array of tomatoes!
Unfortunately, a good Tabbouleh isn’t as easy to get as you might think. More often than not, when I’m served Tabbouleh, it has a strong bulgur wheat presence, totally obscuring anything else and most definitely the parsley. A good estimate is the bulgur wheat should be about half the weight of the parsley, not amount. So if we’re going to do this, let’s start right, repeat after me – Parsley is the star of the show!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at:
How to Make Perfect Lebanese Tabbouleh
– try and get firm (but ripe) tomatoes, as you don’t want them turning to mush during chopping
– don’t be tempted to drain the tomatoes of their juices and seeds, they’ll add moisture and flavour
– step away from that food processor/chopper! It’s got to be done by hand, you want the parsley tiny-ish but whole, not mashed/mush
– use a big sharp knife for ease and best results. Hold the tip of the knife down as a fulcrum, and chop down with the base
– everything wants chopping up fine, although how tiny you like your parsley to be is a matter of preference. I do like a bit of size on my parsley
– soak, soak, soak the bulgur wheat – too many people don’t do this, what you get is a raw crunch taste, BUT please don’t go cooking it though!