Bulgur Salad with Romesco Sauce

July/August 2013

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In this bulgur salad recipe, an abundant mix of sliced heirloom tomatoes is bathed in olive oil and dressed with basil, then the bulgur salad with Romesco sauce is mounded on top. The Romesco—a sauce made with roasted peppers, smoked paprika, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and almonds—is really the star of this salad. Serve as a side or add fresh steamed crab, shrimp or lobster to turn this salad into a meal.

Bulgur Salad with Romesco Sauce

Makes: 8 servings

Serving Size: about 3/4 cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:


Bulgur Salad

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 2 1/2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, divided
  • 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted (see Tips)
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

Romesco Sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons whole almonds, lightly toasted (see Tips), or 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 4 whole hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 large jarred roasted pepper, preferably pimiento
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4-3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (see Tips)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. To prepare salad: Bring water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir in bulgur and currants. Cover and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 40 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and break up clumps with your fingers. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out to cool.
  2. Dice enough tomatoes to make 1 1/2 cups. Transfer to a sieve and let drain while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  3. To prepare sauce: Mince garlic in a food processor; add almonds (or almond butter) and hazelnuts and process to a coarse paste. Add roasted pepper, 3 tablespoons parsley, red-wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, paprika and salt; blend until fairly smooth. With the motor running, add 3 tablespoons oil; process until the sauce is creamy. Add more crushed red pepper to taste.
  4. To assemble: Combine the bulgur with the sauce in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup parsley, pine nuts, scallions, the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt; gently toss to combine.
  5. Slice the remaining tomatoes and arrange around the outer edge of a large platter. Drizzle the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon each oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle basil over the tomatoes. Mound the bulgur salad in the middle of the platter and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Toast nuts before using in a recipe for the best flavor. To toast chopped, small or sliced nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. To toast whole nuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.
  • Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried red peppers and adds earthy, smoky flavor to food. Look for it in well-stocked supermarkets, gourmet markets or online at


Per serving: 258 calories; 15 g fat (2 g sat, 8 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 6 g protein; 7 g fiber; 235 mg sodium; 647 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (67% daily value), Vitamin A (44% dv), Magnesium (21% dv), Potassium (18% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 1/2 vegetable, 3 fat

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