Recipe ©copyright Julie Le Clerc, from Taking Tea in the Medina cookbook (Penguin Books NZ)
It is a common misconception that tabbouleh is a burghul salad made with the addition of herbs. In fact, a true tabbouleh is made in a ratio of substantially more parsley to grain. I particularly enjoyed this authentic preparation made for us by Ragat, who I met at her home in the hills just outside of Tripoli, Northern Lebanon. Here is her recipe.
1/4 cup fine burghul
2 large bunches fresh flat-leafed parsley, coarsely chopped
1 small bunch fresh mint, coarsely chopped
200g firm vine-ripened tomatoes, finely diced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
Juice of 3 lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lettuce leaves to serve
Rinse burghul in several changes of cold water, then drain well and place in a large salad bowl.
Add remaining ingredients, season generously with salt and pepper to taste and toss well (traditionally this is done by hand). Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Tabbouleh is often served with lettuce leaves, which are used to cup mouthfuls of the salad, like edible spoons.