Levantine food is by far my favorite cuisine: I love the freshness of the herbs and the variety of both vegetarian and vegan dishes.  It has light and refreshing sides, as well as warm and hearty dishes.  Tabbouleh has always been on the top of my salad list, and I’ve been making it a lot more since trying to transition to a mostly vegan diet.  As I’m living in Korea, I’m fairly limited with the ingredients that I can pick up from the local shop, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on some roasted buckwheat, which is an easy (and gluten-free) substitute for the traditionally used bulgar wheat.  Tabbouleh so satisfies me that I eat it as an entree rather than an appetizer, but it can easily pair with any other dish from the Levant, such as hummus, flatbread, baba ganoush, and more. The choice is yours! Dig in.

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 1.5 c roasted buckwheat
  • 2 c water
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped 1/4 c
  • 1 large handful of fresh mint, chopped 1/4 c
  • 1/2 small onion (preferably red), finely chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped (eighthed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional, but I love garlic)
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, depending on how tart you like it
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash of salt and pepper, to taste


Bring water, turmeric, cumin, and salt to a boil. Add buckwheat and allow to cook uncovered until the “top” water has been absorbed- a few minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and allow the buckwheat to cook for about 10 minutes.  You want the buckwheat to be soft, but not mushy, and the water should be completely absorbed.

Add buckwheat, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and garlic to a bowl.  Dress with olive oil and lemon juice, then top with pepper. Lightly toss before serving. Pair with pita/flat bread, falafel, or eat on its own.

Yields 2 servings