One of my favorite parts of a good Middle Eastern platter is the tabbouleh. Typically, it’s made with bulgar wheat, but after that there are a million different regional variations. It tends to have a good mix of finely chopped veggies, loads of fresh herbs, and a bright dressing heavy on the olive oil and lemon. A good tabbouleh can be served with almost anything from grilled meats to fried falafel.
This farro tabbouleh is a very good tabbouleh.
It has many classic ingredients but I subbed out the traditional bulgar wheat with a sturdier farro. Farro has a great texture on its own and holds up well to all the additional herbs and veggies. It’s still a great side dish, but it’s filling enough to actually be a light lunch salad.
I will admit, you’ll have to practice your chopping skills in this one, but it’s well worth it to have a delicious and healthy salad!
- Cook farro according to instructions. I usually rinse mine well with cold water, boil for about 30 minutes until tender, and then drain and rinse a second time with cold water to stop the cooking.
- Meanwhile, take your time dicing the vegetables (shallot, cucumber, tomatoes) and the herbs and greens.
- Toss everything together in a big bowl and fold in the farro last. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Serve tabbouleh at room temperature or chill and serve later (will keep well for 2-3 days in the fridge but starts to break down after that).
This dish is all about the farro. You might think that one cup isn’t enough for all the other ingredients, but you don’t want the farro to overpower the other stuff. It should blend in really easily.
This is the good stuff.
Generally, when I cook farro, I rinse it well with cold water and then boil it gently over low heat for about 30 minutes. Then I drain the grain and rinse it a second time with cold water to stop the cooking.
Meanwhile, we have chopping to do! First, the crunchy stuff: tomatoes, cucumbers, shallot. (I used grape tomatoes for this version, but a whole tomato would be fine.)
Then all the greens. I really don’t know if it’s possible to add too many herbs to this recipe. I added big handfuls of fresh parsley, mint, and some chopped lettuce to fill out the salad a bit.
Back to the farro. This was my finished farro. This is not the kind of think that you need to let all the water absorb. You can just drain it off when the farro reaches the texture you want.
Don’t toss the hot farro into your veggie bowl though. It’ll wilt all the greens. Rinse it really well with cold water to cool it off. Then toss away!
To finish the farro tabbouleh, add some big glugs of olive oil (about 1/2 cup) and the juice from a lemon. Stir that together really well and season with salt and pepper.
This is a perfect light dinner (could you put an egg on this? I think yes.) but it really shines as a side dish next to something grilled. Do with that information what you will.