Throughout the middle ages, a dish prepared of edible herbs called qaḍb was a staple of the Arabian diet. Today, the version called tabbouleh is still one of the most popular dishes in the middle-east. Common in Syria, Lebanon (the basis for this tabbouleh salad recipe), and Jordan, similar dishes are also prepared throughout the region including Turkey, Armenia, and Cyprus. Some regional varieties may include chopped onion, cucumber, or other spices such as cumin.
Tabbouleh Salad Recipe with Spelt
Tabbouleh originated in the mountainous regions of Syria and Lebanon where a type of wheat called salamouni was cultivated. This wheat was used to make bulgur, a whole grain preparation resulting in a dried cracked cereal that is an essential ingredient in a tabbouleh salad recipe.
Our tabbouleh salad recipe replaces bulgar wheat with whole grain spelt. Since the spelt berry is larger and denser than bulgar, this version includes a more firm tomato (pear or cherry) for a chunkier overall texture.
This fresh, green tabbouleh salad is full of simple yet vivid flavors. It is fast and easy if you have prepared spelt you need to use up, but is it also well worth the prep time to experience a spelt version of this ancient dish.
- 2 cups prepared spelt berries (whole grains)
- 2-3 bunches fresh Italian (fat leaf) parsley
- 1-2 bunches fresh mint
- 2 bunches scallions (green onions)
- 2-3 cups chopped tomatoes (3-4 whole ripe tomatoes or 32 oz. whole pear or cherry tomatoes)
- 3-4 lemons for juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, additional to taste
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
To Prepare Spelt:
Rinse two cups of spelt berries and then soak fully covered in water for one hour to overnight. Bring four cups of water to boil, add spelt and cook for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
Stem and chop parsley and mint. Mince scallions. Chop tomatoes – leaving a mix of halves and quarters if using pear or cherry tomatoes. Add together with spelt in a large bowl and lightly toss until evenly mixed.
Juice 3-4 lemons. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice and mix until thoroughly covered. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Best if chilled for an hour prior to serving. Enjoy!