There aren’t many children in the UK lucky enough to grow up with quality Lebanese/Armenian food on their doorstep. I was one of the lucky ones and there are numerous stories of me as a small child refusing to eat something that my long suffering mother had cooked and instead “running away” to my best friends house, always returning well fed by her mum. Our family have so many happy memories of BBQ’s with them full of hummus, kebabs, tabbouleh and stuffed vine leaves….oh the stuffed vine leaves!
I’ve never quite managed to wheedle the stuffed vine leaf recipe out of her and my attempts just aren’t quite the same but tabbouleh is one thing I can do and with the plentiful supply of parsley from the allotment it can easily be made all summer long.
Parsley is a herb that is often overlooked in the UK, relegated to a token green garnish on a restaurant meal. However it is highly nutritious with a high level of the antioxidants in the form flavonoids and volatile oils. Parsley also seems to have a positive effect on “good” bacteria in our gut microbiome. It is also very high in vitamin K, vitamin C and iron.
The important thing to remember about tabbouleh is it is a parsley salad, not a bulgur wheat salad with a bit of parsley and tomatoes. The second is that you need a big sharp knife and a large copping board. This is so that you cut the parsley cleanly, rather than creasing a bruised soggy mess.
Serves: 4 – 8 as part of a meal
Time: Half an hour
- 40g bulgar wheat
- 200g tomatoes
- 160g parsley
- 30g mint
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp allspice
Rinse the bulgar wheat in a sieve until it runs clear. Place in a pan with a tight fitting lid and add 180ml of boiling water, add a pinch of salt and set to one side with the lid on to absorb the water which will take about half an hour.
Start to finely slice the parsley a handful at a time. You will need to keep chopping until the parsley is as small as grains of rice. Only put as much on your board as you can easily handle, overloading your board won’t make the process of chopping any faster and will create more mess.
As each handful is finish add it to a mixing bowl and then move on to the next.
Repeat with the mint.
Finely chop the tomatoes (seeds included) so that they are about 2mm square and add to the bowl.
Add the juice of the lemon, olive oil and allspice.
Checking that is has cooled, add the bulgar wheat.
Mix the salad well until all elements are combined. You can refrigerated it for a few hours if needed.