Tabouli with Za’atar

This recipe was featured on the website Food52 this fall and I love to make it for myself. That means it’s time for you to make it for yourself. It’s a refreshing take on traditional tabouli, which has tomatoes and cucumber. Celery is the star and fresh parsley, scallions, walnuts, and Za’atar make this a go-to recipe when you want something filling and fresh. I like making things that follow that feeling, even in the winter when it’s cold. Also, it’s nice to have a healthy go-to recipe to dive into during the holiday season when people want you to eat lots of treats. Treat yourself with this yummy grain salad. Enjoy!

Psssst!…..Za’atar is a warm blend of spices. Summac, seeds, it’s available in the spice section or order it online.

Food52 Celery Tabouli with Za’atar

by DRBABS March 2012

  • Za’atar (If you can’t find it ready-made)
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme (or lemon thyme, if you can find it)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (not traditional, but adds a nice bite of heat)
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1/4 cup za’atar
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 6 inner stalks of celery with leaves, finely chopped (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chopped celery with leaves)
  • 1 spring onion or 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • More za’atar as needed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)


  • In a large bowl, stir za’atar into bulgur wheat and pour boiling water over the mixture. Let sit until the water is completely absorbed, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, zest and juice your lemon, chop your parsley, onions and celery and toast your walnuts.
  • When the wheat has absorbed all the water and cooled to room temperature, stir in zest and juice of one lemon (you might add more later) and 2 tablespoons of walnut or olive oil. Add in chopped parsley, onions, and celery and stir well. Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust the rest of the seasoning to your taste. You may need more oil and/or lemon juice, and you may want to stir in more za’atar.
  • To serve, scoop the tabouli onto a plate and add a tablespoon or so of plain yogurt. Sprinkle the yogurt with a tablespoon of the chopped walnuts and a pinch or two of za’atar. (I’ve also eaten it with a sprinkling of feta cheese, and it’s really good!)

* Here’s the direct link to the recipe: The editors have a nice lead-in on the recipe’s author. This recipe can easily be vegan by eliminating the greek yogurt or feta, but both are delicious additions if you are not vegan. I love recipes that have a quick swap to meet everyone’s dietary needs.

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