Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Delicious Summer Tabbouleh

The deliciousness of the cypriot grain salad at Hellenic Republic inspired many to try and replicate in their home. Our friends came up with this version and brought it along to a BBQ we hosted at the beginning of December. It was a big hit. I requested the recipe and have been making almost weekly, it's so delicious, too delicious to keep to myself so I am sharing the recipe with you.

Due to my fructan intolerance I have been substituting the same amount of pearl barley for the burghol and omitting the onion. The pearl barley makes for a very wholesome and tasty tabbouleh that has a great chew to it, it's quite a substantial and filling salad. It is fantastic served with some grilled chops for a quick dinner. I've been making a batch of it on the weekends and taking to work for lunch.

I remember eating my first tabbouleh salad as a teenager in the 80s. It was quite a new salad and unusual to Australian palates then, quite exotic! Tabbouleh recipes are now ubiquitous but this is a fantastic recipe and I do encourage you to try it, using either the burghol or the pearl barley.

2 bunches of parsley
2 large handfuls of mint leaves
100g fine burghol
450g ripe tomatoes finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cinnamon
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Gather the springs of parsley into small bundles so that the leaves are packed together at the same level. Place each bundle on your chopping surface, grip the upper part of the parsley firmly with one hand and use the other to cut off the stalks with a sharp knife. Chop the rest of the parsley and place in a mixing bowl. Chop the mint and add to the parlsey.

Rinse the burghol, leave for a few minutes in the sieve then add to the parsley and mint. Add the tomatoes. Sprinkle the onion with the salt, black pepper and cinnamon and rub with your fingers (the salt and pepper reduce the sharpness of the onion). Add this with the lemon juice an oil to the other ingredients. Toss, taste and adjust the seasonings. If the tabbouleh is not moist enough, mix in about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cold water.

Roasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) sunflower seeds and sesame seeds can also be added to the salad. Use about 3 tablespoons of papitas, and 2 tablespoons each of the sunflower and sesame seeds and add them to a dry frying pan. Roast seeds over a medium heat stirring continually until seeds brown and start to pop. You will need to keep a close eye on them to ensure they don't burn! Add seeds when ready to serve to prevent them going soggy.



  1. Oooh, I love your idea of subsituting pearl barley! I never ate tabbouleh growing up because my mum is allergic to wheat. Silly me for not thinking of changing the grain!

  2. It tastes fabulous with the barley, you should give it a try!