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How to: make tabouli

Photo: Salima Senyavskaya/

Parsley is the first-picked player on my herb team. It’s reliable, versatile, undemanding and delicious. 

It can be planted any time in Sydney but does best when put into fertile soil in a sunny spot some time between early spring and late autumn. 

It can be bit slow to get started when transplanted – regular seaweed solution feeds help. I grow at least half a dozen plants of flat-leaf parsley, which last for a year or two, and I allow a few to go to seed so there is always parsley in the garden.

I chop it fine with lemon zest to make a gremolata to sprinkle over anything that needs a lift; add it to my basil pesto to make the colour brighter; toss it with cooked lentils and sliced red onion to eat with barbecued sausages; and make it into tabouli any time at all. I like a tabouli that is mostly green with herbs, not beige with grains, but you can adjust the balance to suit your own palate. Serve it with lamb backstraps that have been rubbed with ground cumin, olive oil and salt then barbecued. Add a dollop of yoghurt or baba ganoush for a sensational late summer meal.


What you need:

50g burghul

A double bunch of parsley

A big handful of fresh mint leaves

2 large tomatoes, or a punnet of cherry tomatoes

1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed

juice of ½ lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil


What to do:

1.Cover the burghul with hot water and let stand for 20 minutes to soften. Drain and squeeze out any water, then let cool.

2.Pick the parsley leaves from the stems and coarsely chop. Roughly chop the mint, dice the cucumber and the tomatoes.

3.Mix the burgul, herbs and vegetables.

4.Shake the lemon juice and olive oil in a screwtop jar to combine, and dress the salad.


Options: if you like a bit of heat, add a finely minced garlic clove to the herbs. Try cooked pearl barley or quinoa in place of the burghul



Text: Robin Powell

About this article

Author: Robin Powell