Tabbouleh- Traditional or Gluten-Free

We used to make this salad at The New Deli; we would deliver it throughout the Bay Area to various health food stores. Back then, hardly anyone in Pinole had heard of Tabbouleh; it wasn’t as popular on home turf. It’s popular in our house though- goes great with lamb. And, if you want gluten-free, just substitute quinoa for the bulgar

Mideastern Salad- Better than Cous Cous!This whole-grain side dish is quite refreshing. Add more or less of various ingredients to suit personal tastes. Increase the recipe for larger crowds! Serves 4-6.


  • 1 1/4 c. Bulgar wheat, or Quinoa (for gluten-free)
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley
  • 1/4 c. chopped spearmint
  • 2-3 single green onions, chopped fine
  • 1/4 c. olive oil (virgin, if available)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice


1. Pour boiling water over Bulgar in a bowl; let it sit until cooled (20 minutes or so): > 1 1/4 c. Bulgar* (or see quinoa directions, bottom of page) > 1 c. boiling water

2. Prep the veggies: Peel cucumber, cut it in half the long way, running finger down the middle to remove seeds. Use organic cucumber if available (as they are on the Dirty Dozen list otherwise!). Cut tomatoes in quarters, removing seeds/pulp (reserve for a sauce or soup?). Chop the herbs and dice the green onion. Use: > 1 small cucumber > 2 tomatoes > 1/4 c. parsley > 1/4 c. spearmint > 2-3 green onions

3. Add the prepped, chopped ingredients to the soaked, cooled bulgar. Toss with: > 1/4 c. olive oil

4. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, toss again: > 1/4 c. lemon juice > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1/4 tsp. pepper

5. Serve with grilled meats or vegetarian main dishes.

Variation: You can use coconut milk for all or part of the liquid, bringing it to a boil before adding the Bulgar. Alter the flavors by omitting the olive oil, spearmint, tomato, and cucumber. Add lime, if available, and some chopped almonds. If you have organically-grown roses, use a few petals, slivered, on top for garnish. Crumbled feta can also be a welcome addition.

* Quinoa Directions: To go gluten-free, sub quinoa; add 2 1/4 c. boiling water to 1 1/4 c. quinoa. Simmer for 12 minutes or so, until it has absorbed water. Let cool, then proceed with recipe.

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