Near the end of summer, cucumbers are abundant. If you have a garden or have friends who garden, you will no doubt be looking for ways to use them up. This recipe is great for turning your overstock of cukes into a refreshing, colourful side dish that can easily double for a light lunch. It has a lot in common with a traditional tabouleh, but I’ve added just a couple of dates to give it a touch of sweetness. It certainly is reminiscent of the Middle East, with prominent hits of lemon and mint, and the light sprinkling of citrus-y sumac leaves. 

Cucumber and Bulgur Wheat Salad

A refreshing summer salad with bright, Middle Eastern flavours.

Salad Dressing

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 pitted, chopped dates
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  • 3/4 cup coarse bulgur wheat
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 to 3 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • 2 to 3 large red radishes
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • fresh parsley and mint leaves
  1. Add bulgur wheat to a small mixing bowl and pour enough boiling water over the grain to just cover. Let stand for 30 minutes, until needed.

  2. Chop cucumber and pepper, and slice radishes thinly. Add vegetables to a large bowl.

  3. When bulgur wheat has soaked for about 25 minutes, add sunflower seeds and salt to the chopped vegetables and toss.

  4. Blend dressing ingredients together in a food processor or with a blender.

  5. Squeeze excess water, if any, from the bulgur wheat and add to the chopped vegetables.

  6. Pour dressing over all salad ingredients and toss together.

  7. Arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with sumac, parsley and mint leaves.

Written by

Lori Franko

I've been a knitter for my entire life and I have taught and designed patterns for a pretty good part of that life. I love creating and sharing my passion for knitting. You won't hear about anything else from me. I really hope that what you read here helps improve your enjoyment of this amazing craft!