Annie Bell’s tuna tabbouleh recipe

With its sprightly lemon punch, tabbouleh is a great side for tuna but this classic salad can also be served on its own or with any other mezze offerings.

tuna tabbouleh
Andrew Burton

SERVES 4

4 x 100g tuna steaks, 1cm-2cm thick
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the tuna
Sea salt, black pepper
150g mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1⁄2 tbsp fine-grain bulgur wheat
100g flat-leaf parsley, tough stalks removed
A handful of mint leaves, chopped
1 large spring onion, finely sliced then chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
50g pitted green olives, 25g of them roughly chopped

  1. The tuna can either be served cold, mixed into the salad or hot as a steak, in which case cook it after making the tabbouleh. Heat a ridged griddle over a medium-high heat, brush the tuna steaks with oil on both sides and season them. Griddle for 2-2 1⁄2 minutes each side so they are tinged with pink in the centre without being raw. The time will depend on their thickness. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
  2. Season the tomatoes with salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Rinse the bulgur wheat in a fine-mesh sieve and leave it on the side to absorb the remaining moisture.
  3. Chop the parsley, holding the bunch and slicing from leaf to stalk. Combine the parsley, mint and onion in a bowl, add the oil and lemon juice, season and combine. Mix in the bulgur wheat and finally the tomatoes and any juices. Slice the tuna and serve over the tabbouleh, scattering the olives over the top.

TIP Fine bulgur wheat is available from Middle Eastern delis. You can also whiz standard bulgur wheat in a coffee grinder until about half the size. Or you can use wholegrain couscous which still gives a good result (in which case soak it according to the packet instructions).