Tabbouleh

Fresh and easy tabbouleh parsley and bulgur wheat salad, with fresh parsley, mint, bulgur soaked in stock, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon juice.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

A few months ago I wrote a piece about parsley and what an important herb it is for brightening the flavor of foods. Several of you suggested that your favorite thing to make with parsley is tabbouleh, a middle eastern salad of sorts made with bulgur wheat and lots of chopped fresh parsley.

Here’s our version. It’s a cinch to make.

The thing that requires the most work actually is just the chopping up of the parsley. Don’t skimp on the olive oil. The salad needs it or it will be dry.

Tabbouleh

Feel free to add some chopped cucumber, or even chile for a little heat. A good winter-time substitute for the fresh tomatoes is some canned roasted red peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with hummus and some pita bread.

Tabbouleh Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Sitting and Marinating time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable stock (for vegetarian option), chicken stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Zest and juice from 2 lemons
  • 5-6 Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped, including the greens
  • 2-3 cups parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Method

1 Place the bulgur in a medium sized bowl. Bring the stock or water and the teaspoon of salt to a boil, pour it over the bulgur. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

2 In a large bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, bulgur and mix well. Add in all the other ingredients and mix to combine.

3 Taste the tabbouleh, and add more salt, olive oil or more lemon juice to taste. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Will keep chilled for several days.

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Showing 4 of 26 Comments

  • Susanne

    I know it’s not traditional, but I use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.

  • mike

    I’ve been making tabbouleh since the late 70’s, early 80’s. My recipe differs a little from yours in that I do not boil the water/stock. I just cover the Bulgur to the depth of the first joint of the index finger and leave it sit for an hour. At this time I’ll squeeze any excess moisture.
    I began substituting cilantro very early on. I’ve always grown it and around here it’s always available in the stores. It gives a less harsh flavour to the salad. I also finely dice a Serrano pepper complete (no coring or seeding,thank you very much), for a small kick in flavour. Also, if you don’t have a good grade of decent olive oil on hand, Zesty Italian Dressing works pretty well in a pinch. I prefer Wish Bone brand. As for lemon or lime, well I’ve always used what I had on hand, it’s good with either.

  • Rosa

    I try to always have Olive oil on hand. One time I did not, I added a few drops of toasted sesame seed oil to the salad oil I used, and used Ume plum vinegar (omit salt if using this, as it is naturally very salty), and used sliced shitake mushrooms, green onion, shredded carrot,small bits of finely sliced colored bell peppers, sliced celery, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and a thinly sliced serrano pepper, and about 4 scrambeled eggs. Of course, I used the usual whole bunch of cilantro and served with slices of lemon and lime on the side, and topped with fresh sprouts (any kind will do, my family usually likes spicy sprouts). I then served along side a slice of grilled tofu that had been brushed with plum sauce prior to grilling. Even the meat eaters loved it!

  • Joan

    Tabbouli is a summer staple at my house, along with your black bean quinoa salad recipe. I just boil hot water in the teapot and soak the bulgur in that. We add tomatoes and cucumber. Another add-in if tomatoes are in bad shape is a can of rinsed chick peas, also adds some protein for a complete meal.

    P.S. I love your site!

  • Susan

    Hi ELise,

    The recipe look lovely!
    I’m from Lebanon (Middle East) where originally this recipe comes from.
    We make it with ‘fine’ bulgur and add more tomato and less bulgur.
    We don’t soak the bulgur, we just dip it in the minced tomatoes to soak there slowly or sprinkle water on them coated completely. Also we add a couple of tbsp of Pomegranate Molasses which gives it a lovely taste, so if we add this, we usually skip the lemon juice because it can turn out a bit sour/acidic. We also add other condiments like dry mint, little pepper, and of course, salt.

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