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Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

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That great - and greatly abused - Middle Eastern herb salad, tabbouleh, is traditionally served with small, tender vine leaves, so that you can scoop it up and eat it in big, juicy mouthfuls. It should be so lemony that just the thought of it makes your mouth water. I don’t use garlic, preferring the freshness of green (spring) onions instead. Make it as close to the time of eating as possible.


  • ½ cup bulghur (cracked wheat)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 4 green (spring) onions
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 bunches flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bunches mint
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt


Soak bulghur in water for 20 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry. Chop green onions finely.

Peel cucumber, cut in half and scoop out seeds. Chop cucumber finely. Dunk tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds and peel. Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze out seeds. Cut remaining flesh into small dice. Wash parsley and mint and dry thoroughly. Chop parsley and mint leaves finely. Toss bulghur with parsley and mint. Add green onions, cucumber and tomato and toss well.

Mix olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and sea salt and pour over salad. Taste for sharpness and add more lemon juice if need be. Toss well and serve with vine leaves or lettuce leaves for scooping.