My first time on an airplane was when I was 8 years old and I travelled to Turkey for a holiday with my dad. We were going as a group with my auntie and her family too as she and my uncle had a place out in Fethiye. I’ve got great memories from that, my first holiday abroad.
One of the first things I tried out there was tabbouleh and it’s been a favourite of mine ever since. I always order it in Turkish and Lebanese restaurants. At home I make something a little similar to tabbouleh, my simple recipe for an easy lunch (this stores well for up to five days in the fridge so is great for those “meal prep” type people). I also serve this as a side dish to accompany broad bean falafel, spicy lamb or chicken, fried halloumi, halloumi fries (oh my gosh I learned about those from https://www.instagram.com/oli_babas/ at Kerb Camden – if you have never had halloumi this way you absolutely must try it!)
A note: where I have said grains in the ingredients below, for me it really depends on what I have got in the house. Sometimes I use red, white and black quinoa, sometimes it is freekeh, sometimes I use fada. Fada is cracked wheat like bulgar wheat which is traditionally used in tabbouleh. The difference between the two is that bulgar wheat is steamed and roasted making it quicker to cook at home. The shop near me doesn’t sell bulgar wheat but it does sell fada and personally I’m happy with any of the above! Sometimes I also add in some cooked pearl barley to give it a different texture.
Cooked and cooled grains – about a mug full will be enough for two
Huge bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped
Smaller bunch of mint, finely chopped
4 sliced spring onions
Tomatoes – I use lots as I love them (like 4 per person!)
1/4 large cucumber, diced
Juice of half a lemon
Big glug of good olive oil
Combine the above ingredients and season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve with hummus, beetroot hummus, pitta, falafel, the list is endless!