Another Levantine dish with disputed spelling (see hummus) and fluid composition, tabouleh is a quick, cheap vegetarian salad or mezze that makes a great accompaniment to a summer barbecue. It often includes tomatoes, although our version doesn’t. Don’t be alarmed by the large quantity of herbs – they’re what give the salad its distinctive colour. It can be made several hours in advance, but hold off on adding the lemon juice until shortly before serving: the acid can dull the vibrant green of the herbs.
Serves 6 generously as a side
200g bulgur wheat (also called cracked wheat)
200g fresh parsley and mint – or any combination of herbs you like
4 fat spring onions, roughly chopped
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Salt and pepper
Put the bulgur wheat in a bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover it by about 1cm. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze out any excess water.
Finely chop the herbs and the spring onions (I use a food processor for this), then stir into the bulgur wheat, along with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice just before serving. Check seasoning and add more salt and / or lemon juice to taste.