Recipe: Armenian Bulgur Pilaf Salad (Itch)

Serves 8

This colorful salad reminds me of tabouli. The orange hue comes from the pureed tomatoes. Serve at room temperature with grilled chicken or lamb.


1, 15 ounce can diced plum tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups bulgur
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 small jalapeno, minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large red onion, diced
8 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
1-2 cups very hot water (add as needed)


1. Saute onions in oil over medium heat until golden. Add tomatoes and liquid and bring to a boil. Puree.

2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and let stand for 45 minutes, until the liquid is completely absorbed.

3. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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  1. I made Itch tonight (really? …that’s the name?). I also made the Yalanchi Sarma (Stuffed Grape Leaves) and Revani (Hazelnut cake). The other two dishes were really good (see other recipes), but I think I botched this one a bit. Mine came out looking nothing like the photo. Here’s where I think I went wrong.

    I couldn’t find diced plum tomatoes at my grocery store, so I went to Whole Foods and found a jar of them. Although the recipe doesn’t say what quantity the can is, I suspect like most cans it’s around 11-14 oz. The jar was 24 oz. So I probably added 2 times too many tomatoes.

    This caused the Itch (still have problem with this name) to be more of a ragu after the first 45 minutes setting. As we all do when buying bulgar, I had got carried away and bought way too much because you can always use more bulgar right? So I threw the rest of the bulgar into the mix hoping to absorb more liquid. I don’t know … I just lost my head.

    30 minutes later when I served the Itch (c’mon there has to be a better name!) is was a little …um … al dente. We felt a bit like horses chewing on oats. By the way, I bought the Bulgar groats (alright that’s worse than itch) and not the steel cut bulgar. Maybe I purchased wrong setting off this unfortunate chain of events.

    At any rate, we’ll see if tomorrow the “dish” (I’m not using that word again) softens up a bit. the taste wasn’t bad it was more the under-cooked texture.

    The other dishes rocked, and I’m happy to be on this adventure ..even for the mishaps! Thanks Sasha!

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