Tabbouleh is a wonderfully fresh Middle Eastern side salad, packed with herbs, tomato & cucumber. Here the lemon-oil dressing gets an extra tang from pomegranate. Healthy and delicious.
For a long time now, I have had a thing about tabbouleh and fattoush salads. I love the fresh flavors and they go so well with all the other mezze dishes they are often served with like humous, baba ghanoush, pita bread and falafel, amongst others. Somehow, though, I’ve managed to share a winter fattoush but that’s it. I’ve been thinking it was about time to change that, so when I recently made this tasty pomegranate tabbouleh, it was the perfect excuse.
This version is inspired by the flavorings of tabbouleh’s Turkish cousin, kisir, which is heavily dressed with pomegranate molasses. However the process is a little different and it is usually heavier on grains than herbs. In fact most times I have had tabbouleh in the US, it seems to be pretty grain-heavy which is not at all how I had it in Jordan and have always made myself.
When we visited friends in Jordan a few years ago, the food was definitely one of the highlights for me, along with the amazing sites to visit. Between the fresh salads and other mezze dishes, both hot and cold, and grilled foods particularly lamb, which is a definite favorite of mine anyway, we had some great meals. The tabbouleh there was so incredibly fresh-tasting, I could eat it every day.
How it’s made
Tabbouleh is very easy to make, there’s just a bit of chopping involved as you need to dice up some tomatoes and cucumber as well as roughly chop parsley and mint. You can do a fair bit of that while you’re cooking the bulgar wheat then the rest as it cools, if you like. Then mix it all together along with a simple, lemony dressing and that’s it. As I say, lots of delicious fresh flavors.
This pomegranate tabbouleh is a fresh, tasty side salad that will brighten up any meal. Easy to make, it’s a slight twist on a classic that’s got a lovely tang to it. If you think you don’t like salads, this is one that may change your mind. And if you do, then it’s a delicious change. Whatever your reason, this is a healthy, satisfying and flavorful dish you need to try.
A slight twist on the classic Middle Eastern salad, perfect as part of a mezze meal.
- 1/4 cup bulgar wheat 45g, cracked wheat - 1 cup when cooked
- 1 cup cucumber diced, approx 1/2 a medium cucumber
- 1 cup tomato diced, approx 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh parsley 45g, chopped
- 2/3 oz mint 19g (1 small box), leaves removed and chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses or more to taste
- salt and pepper
Cook the cracked wheat or bulgar wheat according to packet instructions. Generally with bulgar I just use twice the volume of boiling water to bulgar, cover and leave it to soak for a good 10min or more. With cracked wheat, I would simmer for around the same time and with same amount of water.
Combine the chopped cucumber, tomato, parsley and mint with the cooked bulgar. Drizzle over the olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and a few grinds of salt and pepper. Mix all together well, but without breaking things up. Test the seasoning and add a little more lemon/pomegranate etc to taste.
This is great served straight away but will also keep pretty well for a day, chilled.
Try these other mezze dishes:
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