Tabbouleh Salad With Grilled Asparagus, Mint And Toasted Pine Nuts


Bulgur is one of the oldest grain products in the Eastern Mediterranean, as wheat is one of the three members of the holy trinity of Mediterranean Diet plants (the other two being the olive tree and grape vine).

But in these gluten-intolerant times, knowing some viable substitutes for much-maligned wheat might help you figure out a dinner party more easily! You can make this salad with quinoa or rice with equally delicious results. If using rice, use either a parboiled brown or white rice suitable for pilafs, or wild rice.

1 h 25 min
20 min


  • cups coarse bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 to 12 thin asparagus sprigs
  • 4 scallions or spring onions trimmed but whole
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ cup pine nuts or blanched almonds
  • Greek sea salt to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil or more as needed
  • cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 Tbsp strained fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place the bulgur in a bowl and pour in the water. Cover and let soak for about 1 hour, or until the water is absorbed. Empty into a bowl lined with a double layer of paper towels. Fold the paper towels over the bulgur and squeeze out the excess moisture. You can also prepare the bulgur according to package directions, by boiling an equal quantity of water, adding the bulgur, closing the lid and letting it stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Light the grill to medium according to individual unit instructions. As the grill is heating, bring a medium-size pot of salted water to a rolling boil and blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in an ice water bath immediately. Drain and pat dry.
  3. Brush the asparagus and scallions with a little olive oil and salt and place on the grill over medium heat. Grill until soft but al dente and until the asparagus and scallions have acquired grill marks, about 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and remove. Cut both into ½-inch (1¼-cm) pieces.
  4. Season the bulgur lightly with salt and toss. Add the asparagus and scallions. Place the pine nuts or almonds in a dry skillet, either on the grill or on the stovetop, and toast lightly. Add to the bulgur. Add the garlic, mint, parsley, remaining olive oil, lemon juice and pepper. Toss, adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper and olive oil and lemon juice if needed. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Want to learn more easy, healthy Mediterranean diet recipes? Sign up for my online course “Mastering the Mediterranean!

Want to learn more easy, healthy Mediterranean diet recipes? Sign up for my online course “Mastering the Mediterranean!

Love vegetables? Want to learn more great plant-based Mediterranean dishes? Enroll in my online  class “Baked Vegetable Classics!” 

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