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Get creative with celery leaves in a delicious winter tabbouleh recipe!

LifestyleGet creative with celery leaves in a delicious winter tabbouleh recipe!
If you’re looking to add a creative and seasonal twist to your culinary repertoire, then consider trying out this delightful winter tabbouleh recipe. This take on the classic tabbouleh involves the substitution of traditional ingredients with seasonal variations, resulting in a refreshing and flavorful dish that’s perfect for the colder months.

A Culinary Journey to Jenin, Palestine

Five years ago, during a visit to Palestine with the Fairtrade Foundation and Zaytoun, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the local culinary traditions. One of the highlights of my visit was learning to make maftoul, a traditional hand-rolled couscous crafted from organic wheat. The painstaking process of rolling and sun-drying the couscous demonstrated the dedication of the local women’s co-op in Jenin. This experience left a lasting impression on me and reinforced the importance of utilizing ethically sourced ingredients from around the world.

Embracing Seasonal and Local Ingredients

While I deeply appreciate the value of globally sourced ingredients, I also recognize the significance of incorporating seasonal and locally sourced produce into my cooking. By limiting myself to seasonal ingredients, I not only enhance the quality and flavor of my dishes but also support the local economy. The versatility of tabbouleh provides the perfect canvas for experimenting with seasonal variations, allowing for a rich blend of flavors and textures.

The Winter Tabbouleh Recipe

In this winter tabbouleh recipe, I’ve introduced several seasonal substitutions to infuse the dish with a delightful twist. Instead of the traditional parsley, I’ve incorporated aromatic celery leaves, adding a unique depth of flavor to the tabbouleh. As an alternative to spring onions, which are typically unavailable until March, I’ve utilized young leeks, a staple during the cold winter months. To balance the bitterness of the celery leaves and the tartness of the lemon juice and sumac, I’ve introduced preserved roast red peppers, offering a hint of sweetness and vibrant color to the dish.
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For a touch of freshness, I’ve included dried mint, which complements the other flavors while adding a subtle sweetness. The use of maftoul, or giant couscous, sourced from Palestine further elevates the dish, infusing it with a rich, nutty flavor.


– 100g maftoul, or giant couscous – 50g picked celery leaves (and/or parsley) – 50g dark green leek tops – 100g jarred roast peppers (e.g., piquillo), drained – 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil – 2 tsp lemon juice, or cider vinegar – 2 tsp dried mint – 1 tbsp sumac (optional) – Sea salt, to taste


1. Rinse the maftoul and cook it in a small saucepan with water until al dente. 2. Chop the celery leaves, shred the leek tops, and chop the roast peppers. 3. Combine the prepared ingredients with the cooked maftoul and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. 4. Add the dried mint and sumac, if desired, and season with salt. 5. Toss the tabbouleh to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed, and serve.

Embracing Culinary Creativity

The beauty of this seasonal variation of tabbouleh lies in the ability to experiment with different flavors and textures while staying true to the essence of the traditional dish. By embracing locally available ingredients and creatively adapting recipes, we can expand our culinary horizons and appreciate the richness of seasonal produce.


The winter tabbouleh with celery leaves, preserved peppers, and sumac presents a captivating fusion of flavors, celebrating the essence of seasonal cooking and the art of culinary exploration. Whether you’re seeking to add a refreshing twist to a classic dish or simply looking to embrace the bounty of winter produce, this inventive tabbouleh recipe is a delightful showcase of the magic that unfolds when creativity meets tradition.
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