We’re in this weather pattern where it’s alternately warm and sticky and cooler and pleasant. Which means my cooking pattern changes, too. On these hot, sultry days, the mere thought of turning on the stove makes me wilt. So I love having no-cook recipes, like this one for tabbouleh salad, on hand.
You can easily make a meal out of tabbouleh—a simple Middle Eastern salad of grain, herbs and diced vegetables—with homemade pita bread (which you’ve made ahead), some good cheese and the ripest, juiciest peaches you can find for dessert. And a crisp white wine, natch.
Traveling in Italy recently, we saw a whole range of these prepared salads on antipasta bars and at little food shops. Salads made with couscous and roasted vegetables, or white rice and chopped veggies, or farro with cheese and seasonal vegetables (my personal favorite). This tabbouleh recipe fits that mold, for sure.
You can add shredded cooked chicken to this tabbouleh salad for a heartier meal. Or wrap it in a whole-grain tortilla to make a sandwich. Or eat it on tortilla chips. Any way you go, it’s delicious, refreshing and super simple for these hot days.
easy homemade tabbouleh salad recipe
1/3 cup bulgur (cracked wheat, medium-grind)
1 cup parsley leaves, packed, very finely minced (you’ll have about 1/3 cup, minced)
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint (optional)
2 small tomatoes, seeded and very finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons really good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with warm water; let sit 15 to 20 minutes, until it is al dente, like pasta. (You want to maintain a slightly firm, toothy texture; the bulgur will continue to soften after you’ve made the tabbouleh.) Drain the bulgur in a fine sieve and squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands. Place 1/2 cup prepared bulgur in a bowl and fluff it with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and use a spatula to fold the ingredients gently together. Like most such dishes, this gets better over a couple of hours as the flavors meld.