This delicious, zesty & fresh tasting Middle Eastern Tabbouleh Salad recipe made with bulgur wheat is naturally vegan & makes perfect side dish to any Summer fare. This easy to make, wholesome salad will become your food staple throughout the Summer!
I don't know about you but this time of year I crave fresh and zesty salads to accompany my meals or even be my meals. Salads which are quick and easy to make and can be adapted to suit any diet or preference are always on top of my list. This delicious Tabbouleh Salad recipe came about from my partnership with Germanto - the makers of spicy gouda cheese cubes. These gently spiced gouda cubes turned out to be super versatile and perfect not only in my Summer salads but also as an after school snack for my boys either on their own or made into fan fruit and cheese kebabs. Keep on reading to find out more!
What is Tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, onion, mint, olive oil, lemon juice and loads and loads of parsley. In fact, parsley dominates the authentic tabbouleh and bulgur wheat itself is barely noticeable. Tabbouleh Salad is considered a national dish of Lebanon hence you can often see it referred to as Lebanese Tabbouleh. Other versions of its name include tabbouli, tabouli or tabboulah. This lovely salad is naturally vegan, very refreshing and even though it's perfectly delicious as is, it is also very easy to adapt if (like me) you simply cannot help yourself.
My version of Tabbouleh Salad is quite far from authentic. As I prefer my salads on a hearty side, I've substantially increased the amount of bulgur wheat in my recipe and also added some cucumber and my new favourite seasoning - Zaatar to the dressing. And then some yummy extras to top my salad with.
Should I cook bulgur wheat?
I would advise you not to! If you cook your bulgur wheat as per your packaging instructions there is a big chance that you will end up with stodgy mush. The best way of "cooking" your bulgur is by soaking it in either freshly boiled water or hot veggie stock (if you want to impart some additional flavour).
This method will give you perfect, easy to separate grain with slight bite to it, just as it should be. Trust me on this or give boiling a go and see for yourself. Soaking method is really easy and if you've been boiling your bulgur before, you will never look back.
Tabbouleh Salad Recipe serving suggestions
Tabbouleh Salad is super delicious on its own if you are looking for a lighter side dish solution. However, even then you could still add a little something to it as I have by sprinkling some delicious Germanto Gouda Spicy Cheese Cubes over my portion (above). These mildly spiced, creamy cheese cubes make lovely addition to this salad without overpowering it, simply perfect! Another thing worth mentioning is that they come in easy resealable pack so that you can simply open and "pour" as many or as few cubes as you like.
If you're a carnivore and would like to make this recipe into a proper main meal affair consider topping it with some grilled chicken (either breast or some deboned thighs), piece of salmon or some pan fried prawns. My delicious Easy Flatbread will go beautifully with it too.
For veggie option I come back to Germanto cubes which are veggie friendly as made with vegetarian rennet or any other veggie cheese of choice.
To keep the salad vegan add your favourite olives, chickpeas or delicious roasted peppers and/or marinated artichoke hearts. I love having it with my homemade croutons for a bit of crunch. You could also top it with my Easy Oven Roasted Asparagus, Baked Beetroot Falafel or Wild Garlic Hummus.
For gluten-free option substitute bulgur wheat with quinoa or millet (you will need to revise the cooking time & method as per grain you're using). If you don't need to stick to gluten-free option you could try going for couscous or barley.
You can really go to town with whatever additions you fancy, make this salad your own.
Germanto Gouda - Spicy Cheese Cubes
Delicious 6 weeks matured Germanto Gouda cheese is made in Lithuania from cow's milk using 100% natural ingredients. There are no artificial flavours or colours to be found here. The flavour of Germanto cheese is mild and creamy and gentle spice found in the cheese cubes is extremely pleasant but not overpowering. As already mentioned Germanto Gouda is suitable for vegetarians and is naturally high in protein too. As a semi-hard cheese Germanto Gouda keeps its shape really well but also has fantastic melting qualities which makes it perfect not only as an addition to salads but also to melt on pizzas, tarts, quiches and in pasta bakes.
Germanto is a great staple to have in the fridge and resealable pack allows you to dip in and out as you need. You really cannot beat it for a snack , delicious accompaniment to drinks and your Summer meals. It's real "cook's friend"!
Germanto is available at Sainbury's (chilled world food section) and costs on average £1.00 for 100g pack. You can also find it in independent food shops and regional brands such as Budgens.
How to make Tabbouleh Salad Recipe - Step-By-Step Instructions
- Start with preparing bulgur wheat by putting it in a large bowl and pouring water or vegetable stock over it. Cover with a plate, cling film or preferably beeswax wrap (if you are trying to limit your single plastic usage) and let it sit for 15 minutes. Drain whatever water/stock is left and set aside to cool.
2. Deseed your tomatoes and chop them into relatively small dice. Same with cucumber (wash and leave the skin on) and red onion. Wash, dry and finely chop your parsley and mint. Add cooled bulgur wheat and give it all a good mix.
3. Prepare dressing by mixing all ingredients together and pouring it over the salad. Mix well. If you have time chill your tabbouleh salad in the fridge letting the flavours mix and mingle until ready to serve but salad can also be served immediately.
Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
- 200 g bulgur wheat
- 400 ml water or vegetable stock
- 3 vine tomatoes deeseded and chopped
- ½ long English cucumber skin left on and chopped
- 1 small red onion peeled and finely chopped
- 30 g bunch of fresh parsley bottom stems cut off and leaves with remaining stems finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh mint finely chopped
- 5 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- juice of one lemon
- 1 garlic clove minced or very finely chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Zaatar (Middle Eastern seasoning) optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- Germanto Gouda Spicy Cheese Cubes
- Grilled chicken breasts or deboned thighs
- Grilled salmon filled or pan fried prawns
- Olives, Chickpeas, Roasted Peppers, Marinated Artichoke Hearts
- Put bulgur wheat in a large bowl and pour over water or vegetable stock. Cover the bowl with tightly fitting plate, some cling film or preferably beeswax wrap (if you're trying to reduce your use of plastic) and let it sit for 15 minutes. Drain whatever water/ stock is left and set aside to cool.
- Prepare your tomatoes, cucumber, onion and herbs as per instructions above and put them in a large bowl.
- Add cooled bulgur wheat and give it all a good mix.
- Prepare dressing by mixing all ingredients together and pouring it over the salad. Mix well.
- If you have time chill your tabbouleh salad in the fridge, letting the flavours mix and mingle until ready to serve but salad can also be served immediately.
- Nutritional information is approximate, per serving and should be treated as a guideline only.
- For gluten-free version of the salad, try substituting bulgur wheat with quinoa or millet.
- Feel free to substitute red onion with finely sliced spring onions or shallots.
- For even tangier dressing, feel free to increase the amount of lemon juice (make sure you taste your salad first as it's easier to add than take away.
- It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Not suitable for freezing.
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*** This recipe has been commissioned by Germanto however all the views are 100% my own***