This is a classic Middle Eastern recipe for a salad of Bulgur or cracked wheat with parsley, mint, cucumber and bell pepper in a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. This is quite a substantial salad that makes an excellent light summer lunch and is a great accompaniment to barbecue dishes of all kinds.
225g (8 oz) cracked wheat (Bulgur wheat)
225g (8 oz) tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chop
1/2 red bell pepper
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts
4 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Pick over the cracked wheat, place in a large bowl then cover with plenty of boiling water. Set aside to stand for 30 minutes, or until the grains are tender and have swelled in size.
Once tender, turn the wheat into a fine-meshed sieve and allow to drain thoroughly, pressing down with a plate to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Transfer the wheat to a large bowl.
Cut the tomatoes in half, scoop out the seeds and discard. Chop the tomato flesh into fine dice. Halve the cucumber lengthways and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Peel the cucumber and finely dice the flesh. De-seed the bell pepper and chop the flesh. Add the tomato, onion, cucumber and bell pepper to the wheat and mix in with the herbs and pine nuts. Toss the ingredients to mix thoroughly.
Mix together the lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour this mixture over the wheat and vegetables and toss together. Set aside to chill in the refrigerator until needed.
Tabouleh is always best prepared a few hours before it’s served as this allows the flavours to develop and meld.