As many versions as there are Lebanese and Palestinian housewives. This is one I’ve scribbled in the front of one of my cookbooks – but I’m deeply ashamed to say, while I remember the recipe, I don’t remember which Nadia gave it to me.
- 4 (or more) bunches parsley [Yes, I do know what that meant when I wrote that 20 or more years ago — lots!]
- 1 bunch mint
- 3 large tomatoes, very ripe
- 1 green pepper
- 1 onion, or 1 red onion, or 4 good sized spring onions
- ½ cucumber
- 1 cup burghul (coarse by preference)
- 2 tbsp olive oil [that’s extra-virgin]
- juice of 3 lemons
- generous pinch of salt
- and a generous grind of black pepper
- Rinse the burghul several times until the water poured away is clear; then let it soak for 30 minutes. Drain well, and squeeze out excess water in your hands.
- Chop the herbs and vegetables finely, and add to the burghul. Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well together and leave for 15 minutes for flavours to meld.
- Eaten by parcelling mouthfuls in very fresh and crisp cos lettuce leaves, with pitta bread, or on flatbreads.