A twist on the traditional dish, spelt gives this tabbouleh an added chewy texture that pairs perfection with the slightly spicy jalapeño vinaigrette.
I have been eating Lebanese tabbouleh for as long as I can remember. It is a quintessential summer salad made with fresh parsley, scallions and plenty of bright lemon juice. If you happen to have mint taking over your garden, this is the perfect use for the fragrant herb. In fact, it’s hard to add too much so feel free to get crazy.
Tabbouleh is traditionally prepared with medium #2 bulgur wheat. Medium simply means that it is a bit larger than fine wheat but smaller than coarse bulgur wheat. Of course, the type of wheat you use is a matter of personal preference and in this most recent batch, I decided to swap out bulgur wheat for spelt berries.
Although spelt isn’t typically found in tabbouleh, I love the added chewy texture it brings to the dish. It’s also an excellent source of protein which turns the salad into more of a meal than a side dish. You can serve it with grilled meat, fish or even toss in a can of chick peas for even more satisfying protein.
Admittedly, I was a bit nervous to serve this dish to my relatives but I’m happy to report my mom, aunt and sister cleaned their plates during a recent backyard lunch date. The women in my family are outspoken and honest (shocker!) so seeing their happy faces quietly devour this spelt tabbouleh was a huge win.
Your fork is waiting.
- 6 cups fresh parsley
- 1½ cups cooked spelt (prepared according to package instructions)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes - halved
- 5 scallions - minced
- ½ cup fresh mint - minced
- 1 jalapeño - stemmed and seeded
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Place parsley in a food processor and pulse until finely minced, careful not to puree.
- Remove parsley from the food processor and place in a large bowl. Stir in cooked spelt, cherry tomatoes, scallions and fresh mint.
- To prepare vinaigrette, add jalapeño, lemon juice and salt to the food processor and pulse until incorporated, 30-60 seconds. With the machine on high, slowly add olive oil and continue processing until vinaigrette is emulsified.
- Pour jalapeño vinaigrette over the tabbouleh and toss well. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
For a mild salad, eliminate the jalapeño or remove all of the stems and seeds which is where the heat lives.
For a spicier salad, leave the seeds and/or add a second jalapeño.