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Making TABBOULEH, despite the simplicity of its ingredients : parsley, mint, scallions, tomato & bulgur grains and the dressing, is a labor of love, because it requires such precise & time-consuming chopping, but what a joy it is when it’s ready and served alongside many summer dishes, which is why I’ve chosen to explain my way to you !

The balance of flavors as well as the timing and order of doing things, like chopping, salting, straining, boiling, soaking, mixing, chilling and serving, play an important role for a perfect tabbouleh salad, rich in flavor and texture.

Despite the many different approaches to making this salad, either with more or less bulgur (cracked wheat) and the additions of extra non-traditional ingredients, such as cucumber (which I omit but which is okay to add, because the best salad will always be the one you prefer and not what others dictate), please understand that I’m showing you here is how to make all those flavors sing, to be the best that they can be.

There can be a choice of the parsley leaves, since I prefer flat-leaf parsley, for the taste, but the curly variety will provide a fluffier result, so that’s up to you.

The tomatoes should be salted and strained, because that tomato water will be boiled and added to the bulgur, for an extra tomato touch and no waste of anything precious. And if you add some cucumbers, salt and strain those too before adding them to the salad (and perhaps you can use the cucumber water too for the bulgur ?).

As for the rest, it’s all a question of doing things in the right order, so that the herbs and the scallions that you spent the most time finely chopping, don’t dry out before everything is assembled and then mixed and chilled before serving.

Why a tabbouleh salad now after so many years ? Because I’ve found that it is an absolutely perfect accompaniment to many summer preparations, from simple dips with breads, for a relaxed evening, to grilled or barbecued meats (especially lamb) and fish for more elaborate events.

Dear TABBOULEH, why-oh-why didn’t I make you more often ? … :)

a better balanced «tabbouleh» salad


760 grams or 4 cups


vegetables & aromaticsd herbs & bulgur :

  • 325 grams (2 cups) diced tomatoes (after salting & draining from an initial weight of 500 grams)
  • 125 grams (2 cups) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves & tender stalks near leaves (from an initial weight of 200 grams with long stalks)
  • 30 grams (½ cup) chopped fresh mint leaves (from an initial weight of 45 grams with stems)
  • 35 grams (½ cup) thinly sliced scallions
  • 45 grams (¼ cup) dry bulgur grains (medium thickness)
  • 125 ml (½ cup) tomato water, heated to boiling  

dressing :

  • 105 ml (7 tbsp) olive oil
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 grams (1 tsp) lemon zest, grated & finely chopped
  • 10 grams (1 tsp + ½ tsp + ½ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 2 grams (1 tsp) allspice peppercorns, finely ground
  • 1 gram (½ tsp) coriander seeds, finely ground
  • 1 gram (½ tsp) black peppercorns, finely ground
  • 1 gram (½ tsp) cumin seeds, finely ground


  • rinse the bulgur with cold water until it runs clear, then strain well and set aside
  • dice the tomatoes (discard seeds) into 5mm squares and toss with 1 tsp of salt in a bowl and let sit for 60 minutes, then strain and reserve the diced tomatoes separately from the tomato juice
  • *note : the longer you leave the tomatoes sit, the more juice they will release; you can let them sit 15 more minutes for a drier salad …
  • boil the tomato juice (you will need a minimum of 90 ml or a maximum of 120 ml) and pour onto the bulgur in a bowl, stir and let sit for at least 60 minutes (you can also add 1 bay leaf), then strain, discard the extra juice and fluff up and gently pat dry the bulgur with a paper towel and set aside
  • finely chop the green onions and set aside and cover
  • finely chop the mint leaves (discard all stems first) by rolling them up in bunches and thinly slicing into ribbons and set aside and cover
  • regroup the parsley stems in bunches by lining up the last bottom leaves of the stems and roll tightly and chop very thinly from the top leaves and downwards until you arrive at the bottom leaves and discard those thicker stems after the bottom leaves and continue chopping in smaller bunches of parlsey until all is done and set aside and cover
  • zest ½ of 1 lemon and juice 2 lemons until you have at least 4 tablespoons and transfer to a small bowl, add the zest and 1 tsp of salt and grind all the spices into a fine powder (about 2 tsp after grinding) and add too and finally add the olive oil and shake until well mixed and set aside
  • combine the chopped herbs together and mix well, then add the green onions and mix and then the tomatoes and mix until well combined, add the bulgur and mix again and finally add the dressing and mix until all elements are well coated, adjust to your taste with more salt and/or spices and transfer to a bowl and refrigerate in an airtight container for several hours before serving (for the dressing to absorbed) or up to 24 hours maximum
  • before serving, add more lemon juice or olive oil if necessary (the salad mixture will be less liquid after sitting in the refrigerator) and serve as a side dish as is and/or with baby lettuce or small romaine leaves as scoops.