No salad deserves to be boring, and this tabbouleh salad is a great example of a feel-good-and-eat-it dish with sassy character, flavour and punch. What’s not to love with this big-noted splash of vibrant herbs and colours?
Actually, to be honest the traditional tabbouleh hasn’t loved me back for a while because of its inclusion of bulghur wheat, so the gluten has sometimes been an issue. However this baby has the problem solved, with a fave ingredient of mine – hemp seeds – being swapped in to modernise the dish and convincingly lift its nutritional and flavour profile. Hemp seeds for the win!
I love to see hemp seeds included in every kitchen as their versatility makes them a dream ingredient. After a healthy omega-3 boost or wanting to increase your healthy protein? Hemp seeds sprinkled over smoothies, yoghurt, salads or steamed veggies are easy ways to achieve nutritional ticks of approval, while their mildly nutty flavour will have your taste buds satisfied within seconds.
This tabbouleh is a genuine all-rounder, making a great accompaniment to lamb, chicken, beef and fish dishes. The balance and harmony achieved combining the tart lemons, sweet tomatoes and the mildly grassy parsley make it a great example of the sum being greater than the parts. Yep this is simple kitchen alchemy at its best, but be warned – one spoonful and you’ll be hooked! Make a big bowl because if your home is anything like mine, there will rarely be leftovers.
Hemp Seed Tabbouleh
250g baby roma tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, finely sliced
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus an extra squeeze to finish
½ cup hemp seeds
1 large bunch parsley
1 large handful mint
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Into a large mixing bowl place tomatoes, spring onions and lemon juice. Stir well.
- Add hemp seeds to bowl, gently stirring to combine.
- Bunch the parsley tightly together on a chopping board, remove the base of the stems and discard. Using the largest chopping knife in your kitchen, begin to chop as finely as you can, aiming for tiny slices of both remaining stems and leaves. A calm and methodical chop is best here for the slices to be no bigger than 1mm.
- Add sliced parsley to bowl.
- Using only the leaves of the mint, again bunch tightly on the chopping board, gently and finely slicing.
- Add sliced mint to bowl.
- Add allspice, EVOO, a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper to the bowl, and stir to combine.
- Add final lemon juice squeeze, taste for any seasoning adjustments, move to a serving bowl and serve
TIP: Traditionally tabbouleh is dolloped into cos lettuce leaves before eating, so a platter of fresh cos leaves to serve alongside the tabbouleh is a fun, engaging way to add extra greens to the table.