This is one of the most popular Lebanese dishes. A fresh salad starter found all over the Middle East.
PREPARATION: 15 minutes
STAND-BY: 35 minutes
– 400 gr (14 oz) small leaf parsley or coriander leaves
– 80 g fresh mint leaves (3 oz)
– juice of 3 lemons
– 2 fresh green onions
– 2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground
– 2 tbls sumac (Middle-Eastern spice)
– 3/4 cup + 2 tbls olive oil, extra virgin
– 4 medium tomatoes, ripe but firm
– 1/2 cup burghul (cracked wheat)
– romaine lettuce leaves
Wash and drain the parsley (or coriander) and the mint, then finely chop the leaves by hand with a sharp knife (do not use the mixer for this). Place in a large bowl and refrigerate.
Squeeze three lemons. Rinse the burghul under running water to remove any residue and leave it aside to soak in a little water for 10 minutes. Drain well and squeeze the excess water out with your hands, place in a bowl with the lemon juice and 3/4 cup olive oil. Let sit for 20 minutes so that it absorbs the seasoning and beomes tender, but not soaked.
Cut the onions very finely and put them in a small bowl, adding the salt, pepper, sumac and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside while you chop the tomatoes, removing the seeds.
Immediately before serving add the chopped herbs to the burghul, little by little. Add the onions and combine well. Complete by adding the diced tomatoes. The tart taste of lemon should stand out.
Serve the salad on a large platter garnished with plenty crisp leaves of romaine lettuce hearts that can be used as serving spoons.
*In Palestine, chopped cucumbers are added to this dish.