Featured Recipe: Tabbouleh Salad and Toasted Walnut Couscous Salad

Copyright Linda Gassenheimer

Taste the bright sunshine and refreshing flavors of lemon juice, olive oil and fresh mint in this Middle-East-inspired dinner. The Tabbouleh Salad is made with bulgur wheat sometimes called bulghur.   Bulgur is wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried and crushed. One secret to a flavorful tabbouleh is to crush the scallions and wheat together so that the juices from the scallions penetrate the wheat.

The bulgur wheat needs to soak in water for 20 minutes.  Start soaking it first and then prepare the other ingredients and make the Toasted Walnut Couscous.  It takes only 5 minutes to make.


Tabbouleh Salad

2/3 cup fine bulgur wheat

4 scallions, sliced (about 3/4 cup)

3/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black peppercorns

1 medium size tomato

8 pitted black olives, quartered

2 pita breads

Preheat oven to 350 degrees for pita bread. Place bulgur in a small bowl and add cold water to cover. Let stand 20 minutes. Drain and squeeze out as much moisture as possible with your hands.  Add the scallions and squeeze again so that the scallion juices penetrate the wheat.  Add mint, olive oil and lemon juice.  Toss well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cut tomato into wedges.  Spoon salad onto individual dishes and place olives and tomatoes on top.  Warm pita bread in oven for 5 minutes while you make Tomato and Toasted Walnut Couscous. Serve pita with both dishes.

Toasted Walnut Couscous

1/3 cup tomato puree

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup precooked couscous

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Use preheated oven (350 degrees) to toast walnuts.  Combine tomato puree and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Remove from heat, stir in couscous and cover with a lid.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Place walnuts on a foil-lined baking tray and toast in oven 5 minutes.  Be careful not to let them burn. Add olive oil to the couscous and fluff with a fork to separate grains.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon onto individual dishes and sprinkle walnuts on top.


Nutrition Information

Tabbouleh Salad: Per serving: 372 calories (20 percent from fat), 8.1 g fat (1.1 g saturated, 4.8 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 12.6 g protein, 67.3 g carbohydrates, 13.8 g fiber, 371 mg sodium. Toasted Walnut Couscous:Per serving: 268 calories (32 percent from fat), 9.6 g fat (1.1 g saturated, 4.0 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 7.3 g protein, 38.7 g carbohydrates, 2.6 g fiber, 13 mg sodium.

Shopping List

To buy: 1 package fine bulgur wheat, 1 bunch scallions, 1 bunch fresh mint, 1 lemon, 1 medium size tomato, 1 container pitted black olives, 1 package pita bread, 1 small can tomato puree, 1 package precooked couscous and 1 small package broken walnuts.

Staples: Olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

Helpful Hints

  • Whole wheat or white pita bread can be used.


  • Soak bulgur wheat.
  • Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees for walnuts and pita bread.
  • Prepare ingredients for Tabbouleh.
  • Make Couscous.
  • Drain bulgur and finish salad.