If there’s one thing you need in the run up to summer, it’s a decent salad. I’ve eaten some shockers in my time and this tabbouleh recipe comes out of my fight for worthy, tasty, salads that you actually want to eat. Whether you’re looking to improve your diet, take a bowl of something good to a barbecue or just bring something new in to your evening meals, I really hope you give this recipe a try. I really, really love it.
As a child and young teen, salad was a necessary evil. It was on my plate and I knew it was good for me, but boy was it dull. Sometimes there would be some grapes or segments of satsuma thrown in and that was the highlight- think 80s/90s side salad. The base was more often than not just iceberg., the core of which would make my face implode with it’s bitterness. Surely we knew that salad could taste better than that?
In my early teens, I worked in the kitchens of a bistro and one of my jobs would be to wash the lettuce (iceberg of course) and dress the plates with salad. Whether you ordered a sandwich, jacket potato, lasagne, anything, it came with a side of a few watery iceberg leaves, three slices of cucumber and a couple of cherry tomatoes.
One weekend, towards the end of my time there, our supplier delivered bags of rocket instead of the iceberg that had been ordered. That weekend I swear I swept 90% less salad in to the bin during the plate wash. Finally the side salad had flavour, even if it was just the steady peppery note of rocket.
See, salad can be incredible. Flavour packed, complex and a play of interesting textures. That’s exactly what this tabouli is and thankfully, there’s no iceberg in sight. What I have for you here is a knock out tabbouleh recipe that deserves to share the spotlight on any plate.
The grain in tabbouleh makes it a more substantial salad than most. I talked about my love of maftoul in my post 5 grains to try, and that’s what I’m using here, but don’t worry if you can’t find any, bulgar wheat or cous cous work wonderfully too.
Heaps of herbs are key here, when I say ” two large bunches of parsley”, I really mean large. Your best bet is to head to your local greengrocers where you’ll pay less and get more than you will in most Supermarkets. Don’t forget to pick up the pomegranate whilst you’re there too. The little bursts of fragrance are my favourite part of this dish.
This tabbouleh recipe already makes a great salad, then comes the dressing…
The zing of lemon and the tang of sumac make this perfection. Don’t skip it. You can find sumac in supermarket spice aisles (I’ve checked Tesco, Booths, Asda and Sainsbury’s for you if you’re in the UK).
I serve this tabbouleh with grilled chicken, sometimes with a shawarma marinade (recipe coming soon) or even just a little lemon juice and black pepper. It’s refreshing, healthy and is the must have side for your summer parties and barbecues. If you take it along to a friend’s house, hit the print button on the recipe below and take a copy, because they’re going to ask you for the recipe.
- 100g bulgar wheat/maftoul/cous cous
- 2 large bunches parsley, stalks removed
- 3 spring onions
- 4 sprigs of mint, stalks removed
- 6 large vine tomatoes, seeds removed
- 1 small pomegranate
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp sumac
- Cook the bulgar wheat/maftoul/cous cous using the directions on the packet.
- Finely chop the parsley, spring onions, mint and tomatoes. Toss together in a large bowl
- Cut the pomegranate in to quarters and deseed, being careful to remove any white pith.
- Mix the pomegranate seeds in to the salad.
- Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and sumac, drizzle over the salad
- Once the bulgar/maftoul/cous cous is cooled, fluff with a fork to separate the grains and mix through the rest of the ingredients.