I fell in love with tabbouleh (also spelled tabouli) at Manakeesh, a Lebanese bakery near our apartment. Parsley and mint are the dominant flavors of the dish heightened by lemon juice. I love it because it is full of flavor and with the addition of a grain such as bulghur, couscous, or quinoa, it fills me up more than a traditional salad. To increase the intensity of the flavor, I like to let the salad sit in the fridge for an hour or so before eating. It has become a picnic favorite for us. Serve it with marinated tofu or lamb kebabs to make a complete meal.

Serves 4 as a side or 2 as an entree 

1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 bunch parsley, stems removed (approximately 1 cup)
1 bunch mint, stems removed (approximately 1 cup)
1 cup uncooked couscous (or quinoa or bulghur wheat)
1 cup water
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring one cup of water to a boil in a pot. Stir in the couscous, cover, and shut off the heat. After five minutes, remove the lid, add in one tablespoon of olive olive and fluff the couscous with a fork.

Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley and mint leaves. In a large bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients (cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice). Add in the couscous and herb leaves. Toss to combine.

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