Tabbouleh (pronounced tuh-BOO-lee) is a Middle Eastern bulghur wheat salad. A wonderfully fresh dish exploding with bright flavors of lemon and parsley, it’s perfect for spring and summer meals. Cucumbers and tomatoes lend crunch and seasonal vegetable goodness.
In order to make tabbouleh, you must first cook up a batch of bulghur wheat, one of my favorite whole grains. It’s much quicker-cooking than regular wheat berries, as it has been parboiled and dried. You can find it in fine, medium, and coarse varieties in the bulk bins at your local health food store. A medium grind is generally preferred for tabbouleh. Bulghur wheat is actually easier to cook than a pot of rice — you add boiling water to it and then soak the grains until they’re done. With no chance of boil-overs or burning the bottom of the pot, this is a no-fail ingredient!
This recipe makes a big ol’ batch — if you’re not serving a big crowd, halve it to serve 4 instead of 8, or enjoy the leftovers for a while. You can also adjust the amounts of parsley and veggies to suit your tastes — some people like their tabbouleh heavy on the grains, while others prefer a parsley-heavy bowl. Your call!
2 C. bulghur wheat
4 C. water
1/2 english cucumber, diced
5 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 C. tightly-packed parsley, chopped fine
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
1. Put bulghur wheat in a large bowl.
2. Boil water, then pour over bulghur wheat and cover. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain excess water.
3. Let cool to room temperature before continuing with recipe — you don’t want to cook your vegetables with boiling hot grains!
4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. Stir to combine.