I love tabbouleh. Let me amend that. I love real tabbouleh, authentic tabbouleh. The tabbouleh that isn’t a couscous salad by another name. To summarise Yotam Ottolenghi’s version in the Guardian it’s all about the parsley.
There needs to be parsley – lots and lots of parsley. You have to get the proportions right. At least 4 to 1 herb to grain. The main herb has to be parsley, but mint and coriander can help things along. The grain should be bulgar wheat for authenticity, but I think couscous is fine and so is quinoa, as long as it’s subordinate to the herbs.
Then add red or spring onion, de-seeded tomato, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. I’m going to be specific here and say that it has to be lemon juice – the citrus flavour is needed. And so is sharpness against the sweetness of the herbs so I would up the proportion of lemon juice from that for a vinaigrette, say.
The recipe below, gives a generous lunch-sized portion for one to eat with falafel and bread.
Ingredients & Method
4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
1 tbsp mint or coriander (finely chopped)
1 medium tomato (de-seeded and finely chopped)
1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
1-2 tbsps couscous (I took mine from a ready-made supermarket couscous salad)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
Add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir thoroughly. Check acidity levels and add more olive oil or lemon juice to taste.
Be warned. This stuff gets addictive. You can also ring in the changes by adding cucumber, peppers, radishes etc for extra texture and crunch. Just go easy on the grains!