Few foods sound as unappealing as bulgur, but I can promise you that there’s much more to it than just an unfortunate-sounding name. Bulgur is basically cracked wheat, made from the groat (yes, that is also an unfortunate name; it means ‘ hulled kernels’), of several different types of wheat. When cooked, it has a slight toothiness to it that’s incredibly pleasing to chomp and chew, much like al dente pasta. Bulgur is one of the main components of traditional tabbouleh salad, which just so happens to be one of my favorite salads due to its ease of assembly and bright vibrant flavors (don’t worry caesar, your parmesan + smokiness is keeping you at the #1 slot).
Tabbouleh salad is a middle eastern dish that traditionally has bulgur, flat leafed parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions tossed altogether with some lemon juice and pepper. However, since it’s the dead of winter and the only tomatoes available are hard sad out-of-season ones, and the cucumbers at the store are limp, grainy, and flavorless, I’ve made a few little tweaks to incorporate some delicious, refreshing wintertime produce substitutes!
I’ve tossed in a generous portion of pomegranate kernels, so that with every bite you get a burst of their deliciously sweet tart juice, and some chopped kale, to add in a touch of lush fresh green flavor. There’s also some pistachios, because I like a little extra crunch in my salad, and a generous pinch of aleppo pepper flakes for some heat + middle eastern zing. The rest of the bunch (parsley, mint, lemon, etc) is very on par with the traditional version, and combined it makes for a very filling + refreshing winter tabbouleh salad that I know you’ll really enjoy.
As for life around these parts, it’s been a *really* hectic first month of 2019. There’s been a lot of work coming in, which is good, but the leisurely-paced days of the early winter are long gone, which is a little sad. BUT, on the bright side, I’m heading out of town next week for a few days of sunshine with Jeremy in Mexico, so it will be a very welcome little escape from all the work that’s on my plate. I also tend to get a little seasonal affective disorder in the later parts of winter, and feeling some actual sunlight on my skin will do me some good, I think. Also, I believe tacos can heal all wounds, so I should be in tip top shape when I come back home! Wishing you all a wonderful February, and hope you enjoy this little tabbouleh salad as much as I did.
This delicious winter tabbouleh salad combines the brightness of fresh herbs and lemon with the deep richness of winter produce like pomegranate and kale. It's healthy, it's easy, and it tastes incredible. A win all around!
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 1 cup dry bulgur
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons flake kosher salt
Winter Tabbouleh Salad
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh kale
- 1 1/3 cup coarsley chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup pomegranate kernels
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios chopped
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon flake kosher sea salt
Bring the water to a boil, then mix together the boiling water, bulgur, lemon juice, olive oil, aleppo pepper, and salt in in heat proof bowl. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes, at which point the bulgur will be softened and cooked. Toss gently with a fork to fluff it up a bit. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Winter Tabbouleh Salad
In a large bowl, toss together the bulgur, kale, parsley, pomegranate kernels, red onion, mint, pistachios, green onion, and salt. Taste and add more salt if desired. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.