So incredibly simple to prepare, you’ll be floored by how amazing this traditional Greek bulgur salad tastes! Similar to the Middle Eastern dish tabouli, and in Cyprus actually called tambouli, – this dish is a flavor packed, nutritional powerhouse. Light, fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables, a simple dressing of just lemon juice and olive oil all mixed with hearty bulgur (pligouri/πλιγούρι in Greek or cracked wheat), bulgur salad is another fantastic example of traditional Greek salads that make an amazing meal!
Some packages of bulgur will recommend that you boil your wheat but there’s really no need. The traditional prep of bulgur is to soak and not boil the grains for about an hour. Once soaked, you can leave the bulgur aside for 24-48 hours until your ready to use it – a nice window of flexibility. I usually soak 1 part bulgur to 1/2 part water – ex: 1 cup of bulgur soaked in 1/2 cup warm/hot water. This recipe is infinitely scalable so make a little or a whole lot, bulgur salad gets eaten right up.
Keep your herbs chopped as finely as you can get them. A sharp knife is a good friend to have on bulgur salad day!
In this recipe, I’ve gone ahead and measured the fresh herbs by dry measure scoops instead of just listing ‘half a bunch’ or a ‘big bunch’ both of which I find really annoying and horribly imprecise especially when I’m making a new recipe. Included with the measurements is an approximate of what I used in terms of ‘bunches’ which should help at the grocery store.
And this is a chop and mix recipe – just that easy. It’s impossible to mess up! My one suggestion is to add the chopped tomatoes last and toss only once or twice. They’re much more delicate than rest of the ingredients and you don’t want them to get mushed! Keep all your veggie in small, bite sized pieces as you want to get a little bit of everything in a forkful.
I have to tell you, bulgur salad is one of my favorite quick lunches. With a pita pocket stuffed with humus and a few big spoonfuls of bulgur salad – you’ll never feel that 3pm slump with this for lunch, I promise you!
- 1 cup dried bulgur (soaked in 1/2 cup water for 1 hour)
- 3 cups chopped parsley (just under a bunch)
- 2 cups chopped cilantro (approx 1/2 bunch)
- 1 cup chopped mint (1/3 of a bunch)
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 tsp each, salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Soak bulgur in warm/hot water for an hour until plumped and fluffy. Chop all herbs very finely. Chopped veggies into bite sized pieces. Add everything to large bowl, add salt/pepper and lemon juice/olive oil. Mix all together, gently and completely. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Another great thing about this recipe is it’s endless variations. Pine nuts and dried currants are added in some parts of Greece and golden raisins with almonds in other areas. And you can certainly switch out the traditional veggie combination here for one that’s more to your particular tastes. Just try to keep to the herb to veggie ratios above for a balanced dish. Enjoy this on it’s own or as a side to most anything – I know you’ll find a hundred ways to love bulgur salad!