Photo courtesy of Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Welcome to 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet, our new blog series! It’s no secret that eating the Mediterranean way helps with heart health and weight loss. But fast-paced modern living makes it hard to stick to any diet, which is why each 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet post will feature a healthy Mediterranean recipe.

Tabbouleh is one of those things that brightens up any meal for me. It can be scooped up with whole wheat pita squares, wrapped in lettuce or simply enjoyed by the spoonful. The delivery method is a side note because its zesty deliciousness stands on its own.

Ok, let’s talk grains. You may or may not have heard of bulgur, the ancient ingredient that really makes Tabbouleh satisfying. It’s actually native to the Mediterranean region and has been a diet staple both there and all over the Middle East for over 4,000 years. And for good reason. Bulgur is a high-fiber, low-fat whole wheat grain that perfectly balances aromatic, tangy Tabbouleh.

Lebanese Tabbouleh
From The New York Times
Makes 4-6 servings


¼ cup fine bulgur wheat
1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
Juice of 2 large lemons, to taste
3 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 3 large bunches)
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
½ pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 romaine lettuce heart, leaves separated, washed and dried

Prep & Cook

  1. Place the bulgur in a bowl, and cover with water by 1/2 inch. Soak for 20 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, and press the bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the garlic, lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions and salt. Leave at room temperature or in the refrigerator for two to three hours, so that the bulgur can continue to absorb liquid and swell.
  3. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with lettuce leaves.