Jeweled Tabbouleh

Jeweled Tabbouleh Salad
Jeweled Tabbouleh is a joyful cracked wheat salad studded with colorful, gem-like fruits and nuts…if your body is a temple, this is definitely something you’ll want to invite inside ;)

Jeweled Tabbouleh is a joyful cracked wheat salad studded with colorful, gem-like fruits and nuts…if your body is a temple, this is definitely something  you’ll want to invite inside ;)

Jeweled Tabbouleh is studded with colorful nuts and fruits

This recipe has been hanging out in my head for too long, I’m so glad I finally brought it to life.  How could you not fall for this dish?  Tabbouleh on its own is amazing, it’s one of my all time favorite salads, but when you top it with colorful bits of sweetness and crunch, you’ve got something extra special.  It’s wonderful for holidays and gatherings because it keeps well, travels well, and it pretties up any table.  But my family fell for it hard, so it makes regular appearances on the dinner table here.  Tonight we’re having ours with chicken kebobs

Jeweled Tabbouleh Salad

The main point I want to get across about this salad is that it’s delicious.  Tabbouleh is a traditional Lebanese dish made with bulgur wheat that’s been soaked and softened.  It marinates in a simple dressing of really good fruity olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.  It’s mixed with TONS of fresh parsley and mint which gives it a unique refreshing flavor.

Cracked wheat for Jeweled Tabbouleh

The ‘jewels’ in Jeweled Tabbouleh are chopped dried fruits and nuts that give the salad a beautiful look along with lots of contrast of flavor and texture.  I’ve used classic Middle Eastern touches like almonds, pistachios, apricots and pomegranate seeds.  The inspiration goes back to a opulent Persian dish called Jeweled Rice that was served at special occasions like weddings.

Beautiful fruits and nuts for Jeweled Tabbouleh Salad

Typically tabbouleh is made with bulgur alone, but in this salad I combined it with wheat berries for a blend of textures.  I liked it so much I think I will make my all tabbouleh this way from now on.

A beautiful vegan Jeweled Tabouleh Salad

“What is the difference between wheat berries and bulgur?”

Wheat berries are the whole kernels of wheat, just as they grow on the stalk.  They’re the least processed form of wheat you can get, and they need to be cooked, just like rice or other whole grains.  Bulgur is made from wheat berries that have been parboiled, cracked, and then dried.   All you need to do is soak it in boiling water to soften it.  Sometimes bulgur is confused with cracked wheat, which is similar, but needs a longer cooking.  All are protein rich and full of nutrients, and you can use them in place of other grains in both cold and hot dishes.

Bulgur from Bob's Red Mill Wheat Berries from Bob's Red Mill

If you can’t find them in your market, you can always order them online here and here.

Jeweled Tabbouleh

Ingredients

  • 2 cups soaked cracked wheat (measure AFTER soaking)
  • 2 cups cooked wheat berries (measure AFTER cooking)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 large bunches WELL WASHED fresh parsley, stems removed, finely minced (I pulsed it in a food processor)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, finely diced (the kind that comes wrapped in plastic, don't peel)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
    'jewels'
  • 1/2 cup raw pistachios, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)

Instructions

  1. You will need 2 cups soaked cracked wheat and 2 cups cooked wheat berries. Follow the directions on the packages. Once soaked and cooked, measure out 2 cups each and put in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing by whisking the olive oil and lemon juice together. Pour it over the wheat and toss to combine well. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and lots of fresh cracked black pepper. Toss again.
  3. Add the minced parsley, mint, cucumber, and red onion, toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Toss the salad again, and taste to adjust any of the seasonings. When you are ready to serve, top with the 'jewels'. Garnish with a few mint or parsley leaves.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/jeweled-tabbouleh/

notes:

  • You can certainly make Jeweled Tabbouleh with just the cracked wheat, which would be traditional.  I used the wheat berries because I like the ‘chew’ factor that they add.  Wheat berries and bulgur are available in most large grocery stores, and all health food and gourmet markets.  Sometimes you’ll find them in the bulk bins.
  • You can substitute other ‘jewels’ if you like…dried cranberries, walnuts, cashews, dates, or dried figs would all be good.  Again, the bulk bins are good because you can take exactly the amount you need without having to buy a big package of each ingredient.
  • Tabbouleh usually contains tomatoes, but I left them out in this recipe because I thought their flavor might clash with the dried fruits.  Feel free to add them in if you like.
  • Don’t skimp on the fresh parsley and mint, they give the salad it’s distinctive fresh flavor.
  • If you want to try a classic tabbouleh, here’s my original recipe.

Vegan Jeweled Tabbouleh is a beautiful and healthy salad made with cracked wheat

 

23 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    February 4, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Sounds so delicious Sue and looks totally gorgeous too! The colors are making me think spring!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde @Sunnycovechef
    February 4, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I enjoy Tabbouleh but rarely make it. Thanks for giving us this wonderful recipe and explaining the difference between the bulgur and the wheat berries.

  • Reply
    Bita
    February 3, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Another beautiful culinary creation Sue – bravo. I love Persian jeweled rice – I taught the American chef who cooked for our wedding how to make it :) how interesting to mix the nit’s and fruit from jeweled rice with this salad. ??

  • Reply
    Samantha @FerraroKitchen
    February 3, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Grew up on all types and flavors of tabbouleh….I could eat this rainbow style all day, every day!!

  • Reply
    grace
    February 3, 2016 at 10:41 am

    b-e-a-UTIFUL! this salad is made of so many little gems–i applaud your creativity here! what a delicious and stunning combination.

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    February 3, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Good tip on the difference between bulgur and wheat berries. I knew that. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe. OK, my dog ate my homework. :-) Anyway, this is so pretty. And we do eat, at least in part, with our eyes, don’t we? Really nice — thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 3, 2016 at 10:32 am

      You always make me laugh John! Have a great day :)

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    February 3, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Absolutely delightful! I too love a good tabbouleh.

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    February 2, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Sue ! Your salad is gorgeous! We love tabbouleh and thank you for explaining the differences between the bulgur and wheat berries, so informative – thanks !

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks ladies <3

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    February 2, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    So so pretty! My daughter is the biggest tabbouleh fan, so I’m sending this on to her too. She will love it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      I know she will, the ‘jewels’ add just the right bit of interest to the tabbouleh without changing its character too much.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    February 2, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I love tabbouleh and this jeweled version is stunning!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Frugale.org
    February 2, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Oh my, simply beautiful. Love it.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    February 2, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    It’s easy to see why your family loves this salad – not only is it gorgeous – I bet the taste is terrific! I love all the different colors and textures – perfection!

  • Reply
    Monique
    February 2, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    It is beautifully bejeweled..I am Pinning it and will make when I buy my chopped parsley ..next time I am at my Lebanese market..
    when I chop this much parsley.I end up w/ it everywhere..have to find wheat berries too..

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      I’m envious of your Lebanese market Monique!

  • Reply
    Holly N @ Spend With Pennies
    February 2, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Stunning and delicious!! I love all of these gorgeous flavors! You make such pretty food!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks Holly :)

  • Reply
    Diana / Dreams Factory
    February 2, 2016 at 10:15 am

    It looks amazing, love all the colors and the textures! ?
    Tabbouleh will never be the same! :)

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    February 2, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Oh my! This is so pretty and sounds fantastic. I would be happy eating this every day of the week. I can’t think of much that it would pair well with. YUM!

  • Reply
    Melanie @ Melanie Cooks
    February 2, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I love Tabbouleh, it tastes so bright and refreshing! What a colorful, healthy and yummy salad! The pomegranate seeds are a great addition!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Thanks Melanie — I think pom seeds perk up just about anything :)

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