Packed with fresh parsley and mint, this Lebanese tabbouleh is brimming with flavour and nutrients to make a refreshingly light and tasty dish.
- 150g (5oz) flat-leaf parsley, washed and dried
- Leaves from 3 large sprigs of fresh mint (optional)
- 400g (14oz) tomatoes
- 70g (2.5oz) spring onions (scallions) or 30g (1oz) brown onions
- 2 tbsp fine uncooked bulgur wheat
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 120ml (4fl oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice (or verjuice)
- 120ml (4fl oz) olive oil
- ¼ tsp allspice, or to taste
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- Lettuce leaves or young vine leaves, to serve
- Chop the herbs. The trick to properly chop herbs is to have a really sharp knife. Tightly bunch up the parsley, then chop off the stems (keep them in a freezer bag for stocks and soups). Start moving your knife down the parsley leaves with a firm chopping motion in very close strokes. Don’t go over it a second time, as the leaves will bruise and darken and lose their freshness. Repeat for the mint, if using.
- Finely chop the tomatoes into the smallest dice you can and thinly slice the spring onions. If you’re using regular onions, finely dice them the smallest you can and rub them with salt and allspice to soften their punch (this also prevents them turning rancid if prepared ahead of time)
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. Toss with two spoons or use your hands to do it the authentic way. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you wish. Serve with lettuce leaves or young and tender vine leaves, when in season, for scooping
Recipe from Bayrut: The Cookbook: Recipes from the heart of a Lebanese city kitchen by Hisham Assaad (published by Smith Street Books). ©Hisham Assaad (Location Photography) ©Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton (Food Photography).