Ed’s ‘proper’ tabbouleh

by Ed Smith

A parsley and mint salad with a sprinkling of bulgur wheat and sweet spices


250g flat leaf parsley—approx 120g when picked and chopped
35g bulgur wheat—approx 100g after hydrating with boiled water
2-3 tomatoes
20g shallot, finely diced
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cloves
½ tsp coarse sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon
35g mint—approx 25g when picked and chopped
80g pomegranate seeds


Wash and dry the parsley as instructed in the herb guide. Put the bulgur wheat in a bowl. Pour boiling water to 5cm above the wheat and allow to sit and cook for 5-10 mins.

Dice the tomatoes into 5-7mm cubes. Place in mixing bowl with the juices and the shallot, which should be diced as finely as possible without mincing.  

Briefly heat the cumin, pepper and cloves in a dry pan to release their aroma. Put in a pestle and mortar with the salt and grind. Add the other spices. Add to the tomatoes and mix. Also add the olive oil and lemon juice.

Drain the bulgur wheat in a sieve. Cool with cold water and set aside to drain fully.

Now slice the parsley as finely as you can. Pick the leaves and thinnest stems from the bunch. Roll together like a cigar and slice to 1-3mm thick. This takes a bit of time, but persevere. Do the same with the mint.

Add the herbs and bulgur wheat to the tomatoes and spice. Mix well. Add two-thirds of the pomegranate seeds. Mix again, then place in a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining seeds. Have as part of a mezze evening (traditionally it’s eaten scooped up in little baby gem lettuce leaves) or as a salad to go with a barbecue or grilled meat.

Recipe and image: Ed Smith