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Spring Tabouli

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Today Jad and Hady Choucair of Mankoushe share with us a Middle Eastern staple, and one of their favourite dishes – tabouli.

This traditional version of tabouli swaps the cracked wheat, soggy diced tomatoes and cucumber, instead incorporating leafy herbs with crunchy seasonal vegetables. It is the perfect summer side dish, and takes only minutes to make.

17th November, 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 17th November 2015

I was once camping in Pemberton in Western Australia, when I stopped by a local tourist and gift shop owned by an older couple. We started to chat about where I was from and what I was doing in Pemberton. Once they found out I was from Lebanon, the next thing they asked was ‘Do you know how to make tabouli?’ Even in Pemberton, tabouli is a popular dish!

When we lived in Lebanon, no food gathering was complete without tabouli on the table. It is one of our favourite salads. In the Middle East there are even poems dedicated to this dish. Here at Mankoushe, we love tabouli so much, we make it all year round with fresh seasonal ingredients.

This is a traditional version of a Lebanese tabouli, there is no cracked wheat or diced cucumber here. When making tabouli we used foraged leafy herbs with thinly sliced crunchy vegetables, and of course some pomegranate molasses.

Tasty Tuesday shoots are generously supported by The Establishment Studios.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch mint
  • 1/2 bunch dill
  • 1/4 fennel, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 small cos lettuce leaves
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 carrot , peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, shaved
  • 30g slivered almonds
  • 1 squeeze of lemon to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon of sumac
  • 1 tablespoon fresh pomegranate seeds, to serve (optional)

Method

This is a very simple dish to make, but sometimes the best dishes don’t need to be difficult.

Dry fry your almonds until they are crunchy and slightly toasted, then set aside. This generally takes about 3 minutes on a low heat.

Pick leaves off the bunches of parsley, dill and mint and put in bowl. Slice your spring onion. and tear the lettuce leaves into pieces. Thinly slice fennel, carrot and radishes and mix into bowl. Add one shaved zucchini to the salad, cut your tomatoes into wedges, then throw in your toasted almonds.

To make dressing combine olive oil, pomegranate molasses and one garlic clove to a jar. Pop the lid on and shake well. Add a squeeze of lemon to taste.

Just before serving, stir through your dressing with the sumac, and some fresh pomegranate seeds if you have them. Add as much or as little dressing to the salad, we add it all!

Mankoushe
323 Lygon St.
Brunswick East
Victoria 3056

Jad and Hady Choucair at their restaurant, Mankoushe. Photo – Eve Wilson.

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