Juicy ripe watermelon replaces traditional tomato in this healthy, vegan grain salad.
We recently had a bunch of friends over for a barbecue (and so the kids could run wild through the sprinkler) and I made this watermelon tabbouleh. It’s one of my favorite recipes on the blog, but, well, the photos were kinda lackluster. I first posted it a year ago when I was just starting to take this whole blog thing seriously and figure out how to use my camera. So before I set this salad out for our party, I snapped a few new photos so I could update the post.
Here is one the photos from the original post. Eek!
When I was in high school, after class and before play rehearsal, I used to go with a group of friends to East Side Pockets for a “snack,” which was actually a huge pita stuffed with hummus, falafel, and tabbouleh, and drizzled with tahini and cucumber yogurt sauce. Looking back I cannot believe I would go home and eat dinner a few hours later, but what can I say? I was a growing teenager, I guess.
Ever since then I’ve held a special place in my heart for tabbouleh, the Mediterranean salad traditionally made with bulgur, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tons of fresh parsley. It’s such a versatile dish—it works as a light lunch, a side, or a stuffing in your ginormous sandwich. It also keeps for days in the fridge, so you can make a big batch and eat it all week long.
This recipe was inspired by one I saw in the Food Network Magazine. I took the idea for this recipe from the magazine, but I changed pretty much everything else about it, from the ratio of herbs, to the addition of the cucumber, to the ingredients in the dressing, to the spelling (they called it tabouli). I think the results of my version are pretty perfect, and I implore you to bring this to your next barbecue. I know I’m going to!
- 1 cup bulgur
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 cups 1/2-inch diced watermelon
- 1 cucumber peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups minced fresh parsley
- 1 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
Combine the bulgur and boiling water in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it stand until all the water is absorbed and the bulgur is tender but chewy, about 30 minutes. (Or prepare according to package directions--it varies by brand.) Add the watermelon, cucumber, parsley, mint, and scallions, and toss until well combined.
In a small jar (like an old jam jar) combine the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Seal the jar and give it a good shake. Pour the dressing over the tabbouleh and toss until combined. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper as needed.
If you are preparing the tabbouleh ahead, leave the mint out until just before serving--otherwise it will turn brown.