watercress tabbouleh

Lindsey Bareham

Lebanese tabbouleh is made with flat-leaf parsley, but this recipe uses peppery watercress. Finely chopped and mixed with diced tomato, a little bulgur and spring onion, then seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil and mint, it’s refreshing and goes with just about everything.

serves 4-6, prep 20 min

6 vine tomatoes
75g bulgur
2 spring onions
A bunch of watercress
A small bunch of fresh mint
Juice of ½ lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
Curls of crisp lettuce

Cover the tomatoes with boiling water and drain after 20 seconds. Quarter lengthways and remove the skin. Place a sieve over a bowl. Scrape the seeds and juices into the sieve. Finely dice the tomatoes and set aside the dice from one. Using a spoon, press the seeds and their juices against the sieve to extract the juice. Tip the main quantity of diced tomato together with the juices into a second bowl with the bulgur.

Trim and finely chop the spring onions. Stir them into the tomato and season generously with salt and pepper. Leave to allow the tomato juices to hydrate the bulgur. Pick the mint leaves from the stalks. Discard the very thick watercress stalks and chop mint and cress together. When the bulgur is ready — it will remain slightly nutty but be tender — whisk the olive oil into the lemon juice and stir into the bulgur with the watercress and mint. Stir well, taste and adjust seasoning. Line a bowl with several layers of lettuce, spoon in the tabbouleh and tumble remaining diced tomato over the top.