The Middle Eastern classic done right: with lots of herbs and just enough bulgur.
TIME 40 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
½ cup medium- or coarse-grind bulgur
1¼ cups boiling water
⅓ cup olive oil, or more as needed
¼ cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped fresh parsley leaves and small stems
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
½ cup chopped scallions
4 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped

1 Put the bulgur in a large bowl with a pinch of salt, add the boiling water, and stir once. Let sit until tender but not mushy, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the grind. If any water remains, put the bulgur in a strainer and press down on the grains with the back of a large spoon to remove as much of the water as possible.

2 Return the bulgur to the bowl and add the oil, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of pepper. (You can make the salad ahead to this point: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; bring it back to room temperature before continuing.)

3 When you’re ready to serve, add the parsley, mint, scallions, and tomatoes and toss gently with a fork. Taste, adjust the seasoning, adding more olive oil or lemon juice if you’d like, and serve.

  • Couscous makes an excellent substitute for bulgur in this salad; follow the same directions, checking for doneness after 5 minutes (10 minutes for whole wheat couscous).
  • 5 Possible Additions to Tabbouleh. Add any of these along with the herbs in Step 3; you will need to add a little more olive oil and lemon juice:

1 1 cup chopped cucumber (peeled and seeded first)
2 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas or white beans
3 ½ cup chopped almonds
4 ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
5 ¼ cup chopped pitted black olives

  • Fresh herbs are the heart of good tabbouleh—so make sure the parsley and mint are fresh and sprightly, not yellow, dried out, or wilted. This is a rare case when it’s fine to use some stems in addition to parsley leaves for added crunch and flavor; but use only the small ones attached directly to leaves, not the thick ones that hold entire sprigs together.

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