Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chickpea Burghul Salad without Parsley

Burghul, aka bulgur, is made from wheat, like pasta, and is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s also the main ingredient in tabbouleh, together with parsley. And, wouldn’t you know it, just as I think that coriander is evil, I don’t like parsley much, either.

So what to do when a recipe calls for handfuls of parsley? Well, in my case, I just ignore that dreaded green herb altogether. Fortunately in this dish, which had ‘a large handful of parsley’ in the ingredient list, the lack of it can be covered up by the addition of some dried cumin (or other spice, if you don’t like cumin; I won’t judge).

Regarding the dislike of coriander/cilantro and parsley, it’s apparently due to some genetic trait. But at least I haven’t joined the I Hate Cilantro Society yet (just waiting for a discount membership offer).

Chickpea and burghul salad
serves 3-4

100g (3 ½ oz) coarse burghul (bulgur)
400g (14oz) tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
½ tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tblsp lemon juice
3 tblsp pomegranate molasses
2 tblsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Put the burghul in a bowl and cover with hot water. Leave for 15 minutes then drain in a sieve, pressing with a spoon to remove as much water as possible.
2. In a large bowl, combine the drained burghul with the chickpeas, spring onions and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. For the dressing: Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and salt and pepper.
4. To serve: Pour the dressing over the burghul and chickpea salad and toss gently to combine.

recipe adapted from Best of Bill by Bill Granger
Soak the burghul in hot water until tender, about 15 minutes, then add the chickpeas and chopped spring onion. If you don't mind parsley, then it can be added as well.

The dressing adds a bit of flavour to this salad, and to be honest, it can be a bit plain without it, so no need to skimp on the dressing.

At least it's healthy!


  1. This would be a great salad to take to work! At least there wont be the fear of getting parsley stuck in your teeth :)

  2. While I like parsley, I'm not a whole lotta parsley in a bowl girl, and I adore chickpeas - so this is a perfect adaptation for me! Yummy :D

  3. I'm always a bit on the fence when it comes to parsley. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. Guess I'll have to make one bowl with, and one without, and then compare!

  4. I agree with Anna, a lovely salad for work with no wilted leaves to deal with. The dressing sounds divine!

  5. Beautiful salad Bel...like the combination of bulgur and chickpeas...so interesting this issue about cilantro and parsley, you either love it or hate it...
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :)

  6. What a beautiful salad. I've never cooked with burghul but I do love to eat it. The dressing sounds fab!

  7. Dear Bel,

    Chickpeas are something that I love but never seem to cook at home. I must really get into some of these recipes.

  8. Haha it's taken years for parsley and (very small amounts of) corriander to grow on me...