Tabbouli – the fresh taste of Lebanon27

Posted on October 6, 2008 by ChristieSides, Vegan, Vegetarian

This is one of my all time favourite salads, it congers up childhood memories of large family gatherings that were heaving with food.

Most dishes use herbs sparingly, but this salad packs a massive herby punch and the overload of parsley does freak some people out.

For those of us that love it, and there’s lots of us, the combination of parsley, tomatoes, onion and cracked wheat is freshness personified.

It’s just as good served alongside grilled meats or felafal as well as simply scooped up with pita bread or crisp lettuce leaves.

My Dad’s not big on cooking but this is the one dish he’s been perfecting over the years and getting better and better at. The most difficult part is getting the ratio right and it all comes down to preference.

I personally like a good amount of tomato so it’s nice and juicy with lots of lemon juice for tartness and freshness. Just experiment until you’re happy with it then dive right in and enjoy!

Happy cooking, Christie

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Tabbouli salad
serves 4-6 as a side

1/2 cup burghul (cracked wheat)
6 spring onions (scallions), white and green parts finely sliced into rounds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large bunches flat leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
10-15 large mint leaves, finely sliced

1. In a small bowl combine the burghul and 1/2 cup cold water and stir to combine. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so until all the water has been soaked up and the grains have softened slightly. Taste to check – they should have some bite but not too crunchy.

2. In a large bowl add the onion, salt, allspice, lemon juice and olive oil and stir to combine. Add the chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, mint and burghul.

3. Toss to thoroughly coat with the dressing and serve immediately.

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  • Ju’eta Amir

    I absolutely love parsley with anything so when I first tasted tabbouli in Australia, I was blown away!

  • Oh, this is a favorite of mine. I love your simple photo with the lemons…beautiful.

  • Gorgeous, I love tabbouli and I agree the quantities are all down to personal preference but I think it is absolutely essential to have more parsley than wheat.

  • I would be lost in this world with out tabouli Christie! I’ve had it a number of ways but I alway prefer it with more parsley!

  • looks gorgeous, and so fresh! gimme gimme…

  • Y

    Love tabbouli, but not the accompanying awkwardness of having parsley stuck in my teeth! :D

  • Ju’eta – Hurray for a fellow parsley lover!

    Noble Pig – Thank you!

    Helen – Definitely! I hate the versions with lots of wheat – it really weighs it down and affects the freshness.

    Peter G – Me too! Parsley is the key ingredient.

    Diva – Come get some ;)

    Y – Hehe. That’s the only bad part about it!

  • i adore tabbouli and would gladly walk around with hunks of parsley in my teeth for just a taste of yours. i’m loving your serving dish as well. :)

  • Renee

    I absolutely love love love it!! will definitely give it a go. thanks lil legs! :)

  • MAG

    Yum yum yum… my favorite… You made my day :)

  • Allspice? Yummy! (Excuse my naivete because I only enjoy tabouli, and have not made it, but is allspice a common ingredient or a special Christie invention?)


  • I’ve yet to have this. I’ve never had parsley this way but I am a parsley fan. I’d ask for lots of tomatoes too, you can never have too many of those :).

  • Grace – Thanks! those little bowls at the top of the shot are matching in an apple shape too – I adore them.

    Renee – Thank you! Now everyone knows my childhood nickname. :)

    Mag – Hehe. I can guess by the name of your blog ;)

    Tangobaby – No problem darling! Allspice is another name for ground pimento. I hope you give this a go.

    Sophie – I can’t believe you haven’t tried this salad! Make it tonight!

  • very much understand about the family gatherings you mentioned ‘heaving with food’ ~ wonderful taste memories of good times! Your tabbouli salad recipe sounds perfect – will have to make this again. Fresh parsley is fantastic and biting into all these herbs + veggies is a stark reminder that I’m alive! agree – fun apple shaped platters ;-)

  • I love your tabouli recipe – I make mine almost the same but with cinnamon instead of allspice. Most tabouli recipes that you find don’t do this, but it’s what I grew up with and I think it’s imperative to ‘real’ tabouli. I love the deep throaty spiciness of cinnamon with the tang of lemons, and the freshness of parsley. Wonderful!

  • Taste Memory – Such a lovely description! It definitely does make you feel alive to eat such healthy fresh food.

    Tina – Wow, never heard of cinnamon in tabbouli before – will definitely give that a try… maybe tonight. Thanks!

  • shannon

    I’ve been making tabouli for years now, and have tried adding different ingredients at times. At other’s suggestions I’ve added cucumber, and substituted scallion onions for chopped red onion. I’m excited to try adding allspice to the dressing. Guess what I’m having for lunch?

  • Tabbouli is one of my favorite arab dishes. Please post more ideas.

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  • Christie,

    Thank you for such lovely creative recipes! I will be trying many of the GF/VEG recipes soon.

    Just a note: you have marked this Tabbouli Salad as gluten free. It contains cracked wheat, and therefore it is not gluten free. Please consider removing the GF label.

    Cinde :)

  • Cinde – Thanks so much for your lovely comments!

    And for the tip – I’ve now updated my recipe index.

    See you around here soon. Cheers, Christie

  • Christie
    I am so glad you posted a “real” tabbouleh recipe! I just made a big batch and was thinking -why don’t I make it more often?-

  • Courtney

    This looks really awesome, and it looks like it fits with phase 2 of the South Beach Diet! Thanks for the tabbouleh inspiration

    • Hi Courtney, No problem! It’s great served with grilled chicken and fish if that also fits in with your diet. Christie x

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  • Lina

    Hi Christie, As I am of Lebanese descendant but live in Australia, this is our traditional and staple salad (our 2nd is Fattoush). You are one of the few people who have nailed it with your ingredients coming so close the original which has been passed down from my Tata(grandma) , form her Tata and so forth! I congratulate you because I don’t find anyone anymore having that perfect balance of tomatoes/parsley.burghul in theirs these days. They load it with the borghul rather than the vegies which are full of iron & protein!! mmmmm I can just taste the tartness of the lemon juice ! love your posts! God bless!

    • Hi Lina,

      Thank you so much for your comment! I agree that there are too many versions with too much burghul as well!

      I adore fattoush too – now you’ve got me craving that yummy deep fried crunchy Lebanese bread topping. Yum :)


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