Parsley and Bulgur Wheat Salad

Tabbouli (ta-boo-lee)


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    (About 1 quart )

Appears in

I have seen many versions of this salad. I was raised on this one, and it remains my favorite. The main ingredient is parsley, which is full of valuable nutrients, including vitamins K and C. I prefer using curly parsley, as I feel it yields a lighter salad. Prepare the parsley, green onion, and mint the day before, and you will end up with fresh tabbouli that is out-of-this-world good! Offer tabbouli at a barbecue, as the tart taste of the dressing combined with the rich flavor of the parsley and aromatic mint with wheat truly complements grilled meats, fish, and vegetables.


Specialty Ingredients

  • Bulgur wheat #1 (fine), found at specialty markets or online.

For the Salad

  • cups (lightly packed) finely chopped curly parsley; use green leafy parts and tender stems
  • 1 cup diced tomato (¼ inch); use firm red tomatoes
  • cup finely chopped green onion; use the green and white parts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • or: ½ tablespoon dried mint flakes
  • ¼ cup bulgur wheat #1 (fine)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • (For an extra-lemony flavor, add 1 teaspoon lemon zest.)


Prepare Ahead

For freshest vegetables, rinse and store them ahead of time. You can prepare the salad 1 day in advance. Refrigerate covered. Dress the salad as directed.

To Prepare the Vegetables (the day before)

Loosen the tie around the stems of parsley. Rinse the parsley several times in a bowl of cold water, changing the water until the water is clear of sand particles and debris. Dry the parsley by holding each bunch by the stems and shaking out the excess water. (I step outdoors to do this, giving each bunch several good swings. If stepping outdoors is not an option, you can give it a couple of good swings over the bathtub. You can also use a salad spinner if you have one.) Place the parsley on a dry kitchen towel (turning each bunch periodically), allowing it to airdry (not wilt).

To store overnight, roll the air-dried bunches of parsley in a dry kitchen towel or paper towel and place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Rinse and store the fresh mint and green onions the day before as well (see Rinsing and Storing Produce).

To Prepare the Tabbouli

It is essential to use a sharp 8- to 10-inch chef’s knife to chop the parsley for tabbouli. (For larger amounts of tabbouli, you can use a food processor. The blade must be sharp and the parsley must be air-dried, not wilted. Pulse the parsley in small batches, about 4 cups at a time depending on the size of your food processor. I use one that holds 12 cups.)

To prepare the salad, combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours prior to serving (allowing the bulgur to expand). Add the next 6 ingredients and mix thoroughly just before serving.

To Serve

Serve the tabbouli spooned on heart of romaine leaves (or tender cabbage leaves, fresh grape leaves off the vine, or endive spears), garnished with lemon wedges, tomato wedges, and sprigs of mint.