Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Different take on Tabbouleh/Tabouleh/Tabouli

Tabbouleh is a traditional Mediterranean (Lebanese) grain salad. bulgar, parsley and mint form the basis of this light yet satisfying salad. Sadly there is a flavor I do not care for, and that is mint. Therefore, I have adapted the more traditional recipe to fit my tastes, replacing mint with cilantro. This is perfect summer fare, and can be a meal unto itself. It is also great on a buffet, as it will hold up for hours.

Besides being delicious, you only need to boil some water - so you won't heat up your kitchen on a hot summer day.

Feel free to adapt this recipe, substitute couscous or quinoa for the bulgar. Adaptations I made as I was making it  - I (gasp!) ran out of cilantro and parsley so it is not as fluffy as I would normally like it,  and for some reason I completely forgot the scallions/onions. You know what? It was still delicious! I ate it last night with the merguez I had in the freezer. A simple summer meal packed with flavor!

1 cup Bulgar + boiling water to cover
1 small cucumber peeled, seeded and diced (if a very young fresh cucumber - use the whole thing)
2 jalapeño peppers seeded and finely diced (use less if sensitive to chilies)
½ cup cooked rinsed garbanzo beans (optional, but I love them)
1 cup packed chopped cilantro or parsley
1 cup chopped tomatoes
½ cup red onion, finely diced OR scallions minced. Use both the green and white part.
1-3 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tsp salt
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh is always better)
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Put bulgar wheat in medium large bowl.

Add enough boiling water to cover wheat. Stir, cover and let stand until bulgar is tender – about 30 minutes. Drain.

Add salt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic to bulgar. Mix well and cover – At this point bulgar mixture may be chilled for up to 24 hours.
30 minutes before serving add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Not perfectly traditional but cool and deeply satisfying nonetheless.

Until next time, Eat Well and Keep Digging!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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  1. Permutations of this are amongst my favourites too (Mint instead of Cilantro for me though!). Good in a pitta bread. Wish I had some real Merguez. It's difficult to get hold of here.

  2. Not sure what constitutes "real" but it's easy enough to make Mark. Just form patties or short "logs" if you don't want to fuss with casings.

  3. Love your recipe, David, although I, too, would pass on the cilantro. Your pic of the chopped cucumber is like a cool breeze on a hot Summer's day. Nicely done!

  4. Hi ChgoJohn! Thanks for coming by. Cilantro seems to a polarizing flavor. I love it, others... not so much. I was happy with the picture too. Now I've got to pop over to your site...


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