Thursday, 3 November 2011


I have made oodles of tabbouleh over the years. I've looked for that one "authentic" recipe. You know "the one", don't you? "The one" that all those lucky Lebanese people know how to make. "The one" that's been passed down from their mothers and grandmothers. "The one" that has that perfect balance of texture and flavour and that the rest of us get wrong. "The one" that is sold on all the street corners in Beirut along-side the kebabs. (I've never been to Beirut so I don't know if they sell kebabs and tabbouleh together, never-mind on street corners, but in my head they do.) Guess what? There is no such recipe. Tabbouleh is like so many of those classic dishes - everyone seems to have their own take on it. So here's mine with a little help from SBS.

from Food Safari
Serves 4 as a side dish

2 tablespoons of fine burghul
juice of 2 or 3 lemons
big bunch of parsley
small handful of mint leaves
2 or 3 tomatoes
4 spring onions
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra lemon juice if needed (I always add more lemon juice. Love the stuff.)

The best tip ever is to soak the burghul in the lemon juice for about 15 minutes until it softens. This makes so much sense. No having to dry the burghul. Just add it to the salad. YAY! Every other recipe I've read says to soak it in water (hot or cold), then spend eternity squeezing it dry in a tea towel. The lemon juice method means not only do I save my wrists from all that wringing, but no soggy salad. SAweet!

Shred the parsely and mint then wash it and shake it dry in a colander. Put it in a serving bowl. Dice the tomatoes and slice the spring onions finely. Add them to the shredded herbs. Toss in the lemon juice-soaked burghul (no wringing it out, again, YAY), and mix it in with the herbs and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add enough olive oil to make everything shine. I always add more lemon juice because I like it good and lemony, but adjust all the seasoning to your own taste like the Lebanese people do. After all, that's what makes this salad "the one".

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