January 1, 2024/Recipes

Recipe: Charred Broccoli Tabbouleh Salad

A tasty new twist on a Mediterranean classic

Charred broccoli tossed with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas and cooked bulgar wheat in a bowl

Try this delightful twist on traditional tabbouleh. Blend nutritious, high-fiber bulgur with charred broccoli, chickpeas and tahini. You’ll get bone-building vitamin K and vegetarian-friendly protein. And you’ll also get great taste.


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  • 1/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 broccoli crown
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
  • 15.5-ounce can (no salt added) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini, well stirred


  1. Put the bulgur into a small bowl and cover with hot water by 2 inches. Let stand until the bulgur is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain into a strainer and shake out excess water.
  2. Heat the oven to 425 F.
  3. Cut the broccoli into small florets and place on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Toss and spread into a single layer. Roast until tender and charred at the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, chickpeas, bulgur and broccoli.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pour over the salad and toss well to combine.

Ingredient health benefits

  • Bulgur wheat: Humans have cultivated this whole grain for thousands of years. And with all the complex carbs, fiber and heart-healthy fats bulgur wheat (also known as bulgur) provides, it’s no wonder we’re still eating it today. Including lots of whole grains in your diet has been linked to an impressive list of health benefits, from helping with weight management and weight loss to reducing blood pressure and risks for certain diseases.
  • Broccoli: Cauliflower’s greener cousin has immunity-boosting vitamin C and nutrients that lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, which helps keep your blood flowing smoothly. Broccoli also has antioxidants and other compounds that might fight cancer or prevent it entirely.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: This cooking oil is an excellent addition to this recipe and your kitchen cupboard. Olive oil has vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin E, and the extra virgin variety also has a chemical that fights inflammation, bacteria, viruses, fungi and abnormal tumor cells. Talk about an all-in-one deal.
  • Cucumbers: What’s not to love about hydration you can eat? Not to mention, cucumbers have fiber for a productive gut, calcium for strong bones and cucurbitacin B, a compound that may have anti-cancer properties.
  • Tomatoes: Though a common kitchen feature, tomatoes are as nutritious as they are red. This is partly because they have lycopene and beta-carotene, carotenoids that give tomatoes their vibrant color. Lycopene might help lower your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. But wait, there’s more: Tomatoes also have vitamin K, which contributes to healthy blood and bones, and potassium, which helps manage your blood pressure.
  • Chickpeas: Another ancient crop, chickpeas are as old as they are nutrient-dense. They’re one of the only plant proteins that are considered a complete protein, and their high-fiber content helps manage weight and prevent constipation. Like bulgur wheat, chickpeas are also rich in unsaturated fats, which promote a happy heart.
  • Tahini: This flavorful paste is traditionally made from ground sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are high in fiber and selenium, an antioxidant that your thyroid needs to function properly.


Nutrition information (per serving)

Calories: 251
Total fat: 10 g
Saturated fat: 1.5 g
Protein: 11 g
Carbohydrate: 33 g
Dietary fiber: 7 g
Sugar: 4.6 g
Added sugar: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 452 mg

Recipe developed by cookbook author Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness.


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