Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sardines and Fresh Herbs

A tabbouleh like salad that combines ripe summer vegetables, herbs, a lemony dressing and mood improving sardines.

Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sardines and Fresh Herbs

I’m always looking for ways to include meals and recipes that include nutrients that are good for our mood and this one is exactly that! Rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, vegetables and extra virgin olive oil. For this recipe, I used a slightly different flavor profile than you usually find in tabbouleh, here I included plenty of dill as well as sesame seeds that pair well with the sardines. As we are always looking for easy ways to include fish, particularly fatty fish in our diet, this salad is perfect! And the best part: it uses canned sardines.

Bulgur is basically cracked wheat that is parboiled so it is prepared quite quickly. It is whole grain, so it is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and it’s a great grain to have in salads. But it also works wonderfully as a breakfast cereal. If you have my cookbook you will find bulgur wheat cereal in the breakfast chapter.
This salad of course tastes better after all the flavors have melded together, so you can make it the night before for lunch the next day.

How to Make Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Sardines

Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sardines and Fresh Herbs

This salad is really easy to prepare.

Start with preparing the bulgur wheat, for this particular recipe you place the bulgur in pot with water and bring it to a boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the bulgur sit for about 15-20 minutes. Drain it pressing out as much water as possible.

In the meantime, chop the vegetables, try to chop the tomatoes and cucumbers at about the same size.

Then you prepare your dressing, mixing the lemon juice and olive oil.

Once the bulgur is ready you first mix the bulgur with half of the dressing, then you add the herbs and vegetables and toss. Place the sardines on top, finishing the dish with the rest of the dressing, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and additional herbs.

Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sardines and Fresh Herbs

Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sardines and Fresh Herbs

Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sardines and Fresh Herbs
Prep Time: 25 minutes
A tabbouleh like salad that combines ripe summer vegetables, herbs, a lemony dressing and mood-improving sardines.
Course: lunch, Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Bulgur, Salad, Tabbouleh Tabouli salad
Servings: 2
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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Ingredients

  • ½ cup (100 g) uncooked bulgur
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber peeled and chopped
  • 1 spring onion white only chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ⅔ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces (100 g) Canned sardines in olive oil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Place the uncooked bulgur in small pot with 1 ½ cup water over high heat, bring to a boil, turn off the heat cover and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Drain, squeezing out as much water as you can. Set aside
  • Start preparing the vegetables and herbs. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onion and herbs and set aside.
  • Make the dressing: mix the olive oil with the lemon juice and zest. Add a pinch of fine salt and a few grinds of pepper and set aside.
  • Place the bulgur in a medium bowl, add the herbs (setting aside 1-2 tsp of dill) and add half of the dressing, mix well.
  • Add the vegetables and toss, layer the sardines on top , drizzle the rest of the dressing and sprinkle with the rest of the dill and sesame seeds.

Notes

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
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Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

4 Comments

  • Reply Cara Finn June 14, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    I have to say – I don’t recall ever cooking with bulgur, and sardines aren’t really something I eat. I decided to try this out, though, and I really like it!! Thank you for this great recipe 🙂 I’ll be making it again! The dill really brings it together.

  • Reply Hellen Arestides June 8, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Dear Elena,
    I love your recipes and as a Greek Australian am naturally drawn to the Mediterranean flavours.
    As I have a few family members & some friends who are gluten intolerant, I substitute the bulgur with quinoa. Being a high protein grain, I use it quite a bit in different recipes.

    Look forward to your next ‘dish’.

    Hellen

  • Reply L. Taylor June 7, 2021 at 12:30 am

    Thank you for your email. Recipes are great

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