Tabbouleh is a salad traditionally made with bulgur wheat, lemon juice, olive oil, and raw vegetables. Somewhere along the way, I opted to add roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and a little zesty salad dressing to amp up the flavor. So if you're not opposed to breaking from tradition, give this version a try. This tabbouleh is not vegan, but it easily can be if you use the vegan version of the zesty dressing. I love bulgur wheat, but if you are looking for a gluten-free option, substitute the bulgur with cooked quinoa.
Most grocery stores stock tabbouleh in the refrigerator section, so you're in for a treat if you've never tasted warm tabbouleh on the day that it's made. It's still delicious the next day, but it's best when fresh.
Bulgur wheat comes in different grind sizes. So depending on the grain size, you may need to boil it a little longer or shorter than instructed. [Keep a close watch and add more water if needed.] Taste after cooking for tenderness. A little bite is fine as it will continue to soften in the dressing.
Raw garlic can overwhelm a dish, so I soak mine in the lemon juice for 30 minutes after grating it and before combining it with the other ingredients. I find that this takes away just enough of its bite.
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup zesty dressing—see recipe here
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice (1 ounce)—add more at the end if needed
- 2 cloves garlic (.25 ounce)
- 1 pound grape or cherry tomatoes, roasted—see recipe here
- 1 medium onion, chopped and cooked until translucent—see recipe here
- 4-5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2-3 bunches of Italian flat-leaf parsley (about 10.5 ounces)—or more if you prefer a lot of parsley
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- kosher salt to taste
Grate the garlic clove and soak it in the lemon juice for 30 minutes. Wash and spin-dry parsley in a salad spinner, then lay on paper towels to dry.
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Add bulgur wheat. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring periodically. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Spoon the hot bulgur wheat into a bowl with the zesty dressing. Stir in lemon/garlic mixture, ¼ cup cooked onions (1.75 ounces), roasted grape tomatoes, and black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and allow flavors to meld for ~30 minutes.
Chop parsley leaves (avoid the stems). Stir parsley and scallions into the bulgur mixture. Taste, adding salt and additional lemon juice if desired.