This fresh Tabbouleh recipe is easy to make and is full of tomatoes, cucumber, and beautiful fresh herbs. Perfect on its own with pita bread!
This is one of those recipes that require some prep work. I’m not going to lie and say it’s super quick. With all the oppressive heat happening most everywhere, you want a recipe that only requires boiling a bit of water. Cooler kitchen means a much cooler house! You have to prep first the bulgur wheat and let it sit and cook up. But while it’s cooking up you can take out your cutting board and chop the tomatoes, the parsley, the cucumbers. I am one of those home cooks that finds chopping vegetables to be a relaxing moment. Sort of like when I’m kneading bread by hand. It’s the repetitive motion that is almost meditative. It’s just a moment to let all your worries go while you carefully get your ingredients ready for one of the freshest and most flavorful tabboulehs.
We happen to have a fantastic Middle Eastern market that is about 15 minutes from us. The owners are very friendly and chatty and there is an Italian lady that also works there. So we get to talk in Italian and someone is always giving us a sample of something to try. They have the most incredible selection of olives. We usually buy their pita (which is fantastic!), hummus, tzatziki, falafel and labneh. There are times when we buy their tabbouleh and it’s always a disappointment for my mom. She says they make it with too much parsley and not enough bulgur wheat.
It is true that you can barely see the wheat. There are speckles of it in every bite and I find they make it with too many onions. I end up picking out all the onions. The flavor is good, but it’s not as good as mom’s tabbouleh. Now we aren’t Middle Eastern but we happen to really love these Middle Eastern dishes. Maybe it’s our Sicilian blood.
This is a super fresh and super vegan/vegetarian dish that can be enjoyed with your favorite pita bread. If you have the time and desire to make your own tabbouleh, you will be rewarded with all of it’s wonderful and light flavors.
How to Make Tabbouleh:
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern Salad made with bulgur wheat (cracked wheat), tomatoes, cucumber, and fresh herbs. Bulgur is a cracked wheat product.
You will likely find it in the bulk section of your grocery store, and it’s incredibly easy to prepare. To make it, pour boiling water on top, add some salt, and let it sit for an hour, covered. During that time, the tabbouleh will absorb all the liquid, and end up with a soft, tender texture.
Parsley and mint are traditional for tabbouleh, but I also like fresh dill in mine.
Chop the herbs well, and also add tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions.Next add a high-quality, extra virgin olive oil. And freshly squeezed lemon juice, for brightness and acidity. Stir it until combined and check the flavor. Add more salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice if needed.
This is one of those dishes that is perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day. No need to turn on the oven. Make some of your own hummus (it’s so easy to make and so inexpensive!), a quick cucumber salad, buy some great pita bread, and you have a delicious meal!
- 1/2 cup fine bulgur
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup boiling-hot water
- 2 cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley from 3 bunches
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 medium tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 seedless cucumber peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Stir together bulgur and 1 tablespoon oil in a heatproof bowl.
- Pour boiling water over, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes.
- Drain in a sieve, pressing on bulgur to remove any excess liquid.
- Transfer bulgur to a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients, including 2 tablespoons oil, until combined well.
- Adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Add more lemon juice if it’s needed.