May 30, 2012

To go with the grilled pizzas for our Memorial Day lunch, my parents asked me to provide a light salad. There wasn’t much decent lettuce or other salad greens at the market on Saturday since it’s still a little early in the season, but one of the vendors had a lot of cheap parsley bunches. I had already purchased tomatoes for the pizza and we have a lot of mint growing wild in our yard, so tabbouleh salad was the perfect fit!

Although tabbouleh is often seen served in Greek or Lebanese restaurants where I live, it is traditionally an Arabian dish. I’ve made this recipe from the ATK Family Cookbook several times before, and while a salad made from mostly parsley isn’t to everyone’s taste, my parents and I love it. :) Rather than soaking the bulgur in water and adding lemon juice later, this version soaks the bulgur directly in a half cup of lemon juice, giving it a brighter flavor. Like many Mediterranean foods, it’s made from a lot of really healthy ingredients too – olive oil, which is high in good fats, and bulgur and greens, which are high in fiber.

Tabbouleh can be served on its own as a side salad; it also makes a great light appetizer served alongside pita chips for scooping. It’s super easy to make: while the bulgur is soaking, chop up the rest of the ingredients, then mix everything together and throw it in the fridge. Just make sure you start preparing it a couple hours ahead of when you plan to serve it, because it needs to refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors blend. It can also be made a day ahead of time.


Tabbouleh can be made up to one day ahead and kept refrigerated. Toss with a little extra lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste immediately before serving.

Serves 6


  • 1  cup fine-grain bulgur wheat
  • 1/2  cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2  medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped fine
  • 2½  cups minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6  scallions, minced
  • 3  tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon pepper


  1. Place the bulgur in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Toss the rinsed bulgur with the lemon juice in a large bowl, cover, and set aside at room temperature until the grains are tender and fluffy, about 30 minutes.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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