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Middle Eastern Composed Salad

A tabbouleh-style salad of bulgur with grape tomatoes and halloumi cheese captures culinary essences of the Middle East and Greece.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2006


For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 3/4 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh curly-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 medium red onion, halved and cut into thin half-moons
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 package (10 ounces) halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Make the dressing: Whisk lemon juice, garlic, and cinnamon in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Gradually add oil, whisking until emulsified. Set aside.

  2. Put bulgur into a large heatproof bowl. Pour in boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

  3. Finely chop 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley. Stir with tomatoes, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl; season with pepper. Set aside.

  4. Stir 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, 1 cup curly-leaf parsley, the onion, and 3 tablespoons dressing in a bowl. Set aside.

  5. Finely chop the remaining 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley and 1/4 cup curly-leaf parsley. Stir into bulgur. Stir in mint, scallions, and 5 tablespoons dressing. Set aside.

  6. Heat a nonstick medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add cheese, and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes per side.

  7. Assemble the salad: Place 2 cheese slices on each of 4 plates. Arrange 1/3 cup tomato mixture, a heaping 1/2 cup bulgur mixture, and 1 cup parsley-onion mixture on each plate. Serve with lemon wedges.

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