Spring Bulgur Salad with Kale Buds

By Linda Ly | April 27, 2015
Unlike kale, which can be bitter, kale buds (also called kale raab) are sweet, especially if they’ve been through a frost. These delicate yellow flowers appear at the end of the plant’s life before it sets seed, and they actually appear on all the plants of the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and mustard greens. They’re edible and tender, and my favorite use for them is to pretty up a salad (because while many flowers are edible, most are not that palatable). Here, I take a traditional Lebanese tabbouleh, dress it with seasonal vegetables, and go lighter on the herbs to make it more complementary to a wider variety of dishes. It’s fresh, crisp, and vibrant—everything that spring is.


For the Salad
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 spring radishes with greens
  • 1⁄2 cup shelled peas
  • 1⁄2 cup kale buds
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped parsley
For the Dressing
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


Makes 4 servings

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, bulgur, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the bulgur is tender. Drain and return the bulgur to the saucepan.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the garlic, cumin, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until well blended. Set the dressing aside as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Trim the greens from the radishes. Finely chop the greens and thinly slice the radishes. Add the radish greens, radishes, peas, kale buds, scallions, and parsley to the bulgur, pour in the dressing, and toss to combine. The salad can be served immediately at room temperature, but for the best flavor, refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the bulgur soak up the dressing and herbs.

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  • Spring Bulgur Salad with Kale Buds recipe