Bulgur Salad with Marinated Tomatoes

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A couple of weeks ago, we took a short vacation and rented a houseboat on Lake Shasta. 4 days with no schedules, no computer and no internet – a “time out” from the crazy schedule that has dominated our summer and a chance to spend some  uninterrupted time together as a family before my oldest heads off to college in Texas next month.

Planning the meals for this trip got me thinking about what I used to make when we went camping – and that’s where these marinated sun dried tomatoes come in. They just might be one of the most perfect foods for camping – and even if you don’t “camp” they are definitely worth making because they not only taste amazing but are incredibly versatile. A sauce for  pasta, an appetizer with feta cheese and crackers and a perfect dressing for salads. I can’t think of many foods that are that versatile – can you?

So easy!

Now, you can obviously buy these already marinated – but these are so much better. Really.

I’d been thinking about using them in a grain based salad -a very  loose riff on tabbouleh.   Great on the first day and even better on the second. This salad too would be perfect for camping, a picnic or even hiking – have it as a side with some grilled meat or chicken and then pack the leftovers for lunch the next day.

But  even if your idea of camping is just eating outside on a patio or deck, these tomatoes and this salad deserve a place in your refrigerator and on your table. Trust me on this.

Bulgur Salad with Marinated Tomatoes – This recipe calls for using the sliced garlic cloves in the finished dish – they are pungent so if you are not a garlic fiend like I am, feel free to not include them in the salad. As for the preserved lemons they really do make a huge difference in this dish. They couldn’t be easier to make – see the link for how to make them!! Finally,  I made this with bulgur but it would also be very good with quinoa or couscous.  Garbanzo beans would also be a delicious addition and when combined with the grains provides a complete source of protein.

(serves 4 – 6 people)

Marinated Tomatoes

  • 1- 3 oz. package sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup  cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 2 tsp. herbs de provence
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese


  1. In  a medium sized glass bowl (preferably wit a lid) l, combine the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the white wine vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Refrigerate overnight.

Bulgur Salad with Marinated Tomatoes

  • 1 cup bulgur (I used #12 grade)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 recipe marinated  tomatoes
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. minced preserved lemon(or you can use lemon zest but flavor won’t be as pronounced)
  • 1 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/3  cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup chopped, canned artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios


  1. In a large bowl, combine bulgur and hot water. Cover and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove sun dried tomatoes from marinade and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.
  3. When bulgur has absorbed all the hot water stir in the marinated tomatoes, preserved lemons, parsley, green onions and artichoke hearts.
  4. Measure out 1/2 cup of the marinade (making sure to get the capers and the sliced garlic!) and pour over the bulgur mixture. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more vinegar/marinade to taste.
  5. Top with pistachios and serve.



    • says

      Blanching would definitely work well… I am such a garlic addict that I love the bite but it definitely isn’t for everyone. I know :-( wish he was at Boulder but SMU is a great fit for him.

  1. says

    I’ve been using all kinds of grains lately. Love the bulgur salad. I’m actually out so I’ve been grabbing the quinoa. I think that would work here too, now that I think about it.

  2. says

    Lovely bulgar salad – I have a huge bag of bulgar in my pantry and my tomatoes are coming in, so I’ll add this to my repertoire of tomato recipes! Glad you were able to get away for 4 days to be together before your son leaves for Texas. Hope to see you soon!

  3. says

    Can’t wait to make sundried tomatoes – and this bulgar salad – I’m eating a lot of farro at the moment – would be good to switch it up with this grain for a patio salad – no camping for me!

    • says

      These tomatoes truly taste better than those you can buy in the store. I love bulgur too – especially the fact that it is so quick and easy to prepare!

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