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Layered Bulgur Salad


Bulgur is the main ingredient in tabbouleh and is an extremely versatile grain. Use it instead of rice — pair it with stir-fry, roasted veggies, etc. I made this salad a few times at cooking demos, and everyone loved it. It’s easy to put together and presents nicely. The combo of soft and crunchy textures, together with a light and lemony dressing, make this a very popular choice, either as a salad or a light meal of its own. You can sub quinoa if you’d like. (See note.)


Prepare the Bulgur

1. Pour boiling water (you can also use broth or stock of your choice) over bulgur in a heatproof bowl. Stir once.
2. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes, or until soft. (Fine bulgur will need 10–15 minutes, medium will need 15–20 minutes, and coarse bulgur will need 20–25.)
3. Drain excess liquid if necessary.


1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
2. Place bulgur in the bottom of a nice glass bowl. (You can use all of it, or leave some for a different time.)
3. Arrange the remaining ingredients as follows: layer scallions, carrot, chickpeas, and parsley (in that order). Tomato should go around the rim of the bowl, with the avocado in the center.
4. Pour dressing over salad. Stir immediately before serving. Garnish with extra parsley if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Tips: Bulgur (also spelled burgul or bulghur) is dried cracked wheat. It’s made from whole wheat that’s partially boiled and then dried, so it needs no cooking. Use the 1:2 ratio of bulgur to liquid. You may want to toast in fat before hydrating it. It tastes equally good chilled, tepid, or reheated. Add some bulgur to leafy salads — it’s low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals. Comparing 1 cup of quinoa to 1 cup of bulgur, quinoa has 8 grams of protein, 220 calories, and 5 grams of fiber; bulgur has 6 grams of protein, 150 calories, and 8 grams of fiber. So if you’re dieting, go for bulgur. If you want to maximize vitamin and mineral intake, go for quinoa.


Photography: Hudi Greeenberger

Styling: Janine Kalesis