Tabbouleh Salad made with Brown Lentils

Recently we've been enjoying this tabbouleh salad made with hearty brown lentils instead of bulgar wheat. It's satisfying, earthy, herby and lemony. A bowl of lentil tabbouleh salad makes a lovely light lunch or a great side dish for grilled meat or fish.

There's not many ingredients involved, but there is a bit of preparation - which is so worth it! Dried brown lentils should be soaked for 12 hours prior to cooking. This will roughly halve the cooking time and (more importantly) reduce the phytate levels. Phylates are responsible for bloating and (ahem) wind, so take the time to soak lentils!

You can use lentils from a tin which are already cooked instead of dried lentils if you prefer. You will need around 600g (drained weight) of cooked tinned lentils, which is roughly three 400g tins. The weight of cooked lentils is roughly double the dried weigh.

Feel free to mix up the fresh herbs - traditionally tabbouleh doesn't have fresh coriander, I just love it so I put it in. Add as much of the fresh herbs as you see fit, taste as you go. Same goes for the lemon juice and salt - add a little at a time, tasting as you go. Enjoy.


Tabbouleh Salad with Brown Lentils

  • Serves: 4-6 as a main or 6-8 as a side
  • Prep time: 10-15 minutes + plus soaking time (see notes)
  • Cooking time: 20-25 minutes for the lentils

Ingredients:

  • 300g dried brown lentils (see notes)
  • 350g cherry tomatoes, washed & diced
  • 4-6 spring onions, washed & sliced
  • Small bunch of each: fresh mint, fresh parsley & fresh coriander (optional); washed, leaves picked and finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons (to taste)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Soak the brown lentils in lots of cold water for 12 hours prior to cooking (see notes).
  2. Drain and rinse the lentils. Place in a saucepan with three times the volume of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are al dente. Skim off any foam which comes to the surface as this will make the lentils bitter.
  3. While the lentils are cooking prep the tomatoes, spring onions, herbs & lemons.
  4. When the lentils are cooked, rinse with lots of cold water to cool them down and drain them well.
  5. Combine the lentils with the tomatoes, spring onions and herbs. Just before serving, dress with olive oil & lemon juice to taste. Season with salt & pepper to taste.