Simple Yet Satisfying Warm Weather Salad: Tabouleh

When I went looking for a side dish for kebabs, I thought of one of my favorite warm-weather salads, Tabouleh.

This Mediterranean salad is pretty satisfying yet fresh-tasting and it just happens to be both healthy (it uses whole grains, vitamins from fresh herbs). I could eat the stuff all day, by the spoonful. Other folks prefer it in a little more moderation as a dip for pita bread.

Recipe variations range from ones that run heavy on the hergs, such as you’ll often find in Middle Eastern restaurants to ones that treat the parsley and mint like coloring for the grain. Though it’s usually made with bulgar, variations on the grain also include barley, couscous, buckwheat (if you’re going for gluten-free), or rice. To give the dish a more exotic flavor, you can add cumin cinnamon and/or a touch of allspice. I’ve also seen variations that include tomatoes, apples cucumbers and other veggies.

I chose a basic recipe from a book through which I’ve recently been browsing, New York Times cooking guru Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food, listed below:


(from How to Cook Everything)
1/2 cup fine- to medium-grind bulgur
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (adjust according to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups roughly chopped parsley leaves
1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup shopped green onions

Soak bulgur in hot water to cover until tender, 15 to 30 minutse. Drain well, squeezing out as much water as possible. Toss with oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, add remaining ingredients and toss gently. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.