Classic Tabouleh Salad

Classic Tabouleh Salad

This classic Mediterranean/Israeli dish is my go-to whenever I’m craving something refreshing, simple, and as visually appealing as it is culinary. With minimal cooking time (and even that’s only a brief boil on the stove), it’s also perfect for summertime menus—at-home dinners and barbecues alike (in my experience, it has a 100% success rate even when people know it’s vegan!).

Tabouleh traditionally features quinoa and tons of parsley in a ratio that favors the latter, which boosts its nutrition. (Read: you can eat a lot with relatively few calories.) I prefer a slightly chewier grain, barley, but that doesn’t weigh down the salad; rather, I find that this alternative makes each bite more satisfying, as a balance to the other light ingredients. The key to getting tabouleh right is chopping. Don’t get lazy and leave big chunks of anything (like I usually do): chop chop chop until everything is finer than you think it needs to be. You won’t regret it.

Classic Tabouleh Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10


  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh basil stems removed and finely chopped
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes quartered
  • 1 medium cucumber finely chopped (unpeeled, so that it holds its structure)
  • Juice from 2 medium lemons
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves minced


  • Combine the barley and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer and cover for 20 minutes or until almost all the water is absorbed and the barley is soft.
  • Meanwhile, chop the remaining ingredients and combine in a large mixing bowl. You want lots of room to stir, so the bigger the bowl the better!
  • Add the oil, juice, garlic, and spices; stir to combine.
  • When the barley is done, and while it’s still warm and with any remaining liquid, add it to your mixing bowl and stir very well. Taste to adjust spices and/or lemon juice (for consistency) as needed.
  • Refrigerate for several hours until chilled through before serving.


Because of the juices, this salad is best eaten within 3 days.


Originally published on Peaceful Dumpling

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