I don’t know about you, but when I find a dish I love I tend to make it over and over again – like several times a week.
I was making this kind of, almost, practically tabouli a few months ago but gave up because, let’s face it, the tomatoes weren’t really that fabulous. This morning at the farmers market though, I saw beautiful baby cherry tomatoes and some lovely Japanese burpless cucumbers and just knew I had to make this again.
This also gives me a good excuse to use some of the lovely mint growing in my garden. Sadly I couldn’t use my garden parsley because an evil squirrel had a digging fest and my poor parsley was a victim. Hopefully my new planting will do better…
…Back to the task at hand! The reason I call this practically tabouli is because traditionally tabouli is made with bulgar wheat but I make it with whole wheat couscous. I am sure I am not the only one that makes this switch because the result is so simple and lovely.
This serves about 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are!) Here is how you do it.
* 1/2 C whole wheat couscous
* 2 lemons
* olive oil
* salt to taste
* about 1/2 C cucumber – chopped (or desired size)
* about 1/2 C cherry tomatoes – quartered (or desired size)
* about 1/4 C red onion – finely chopped (or desired size)
* about 2 TB fresh mint – finely chopped (or desired size)
* about 2 TB flat leaf parsley – chopped to finely chopped (or desired size)
Measure out your couscous and set aside. Cut a lemon and squeeze 1/2 or whole* into a measuring cup (discarding seeds!) and add water to equal 1 Cup of liquid.
Add about 2 TB olive oil to a heavy saucepan with a lid and turn on medium heat. Add the couscous, some salt, and toast until golden brown and nutty – about 3 minutes. Take your lemony water and pour it into the saucepan, stir, put on the lid and turn off the heat. This should sit with the lid on for about 10 minutes before fluffing. Let cool to room temperature.
Once the couscous is nearly cool, chop up your onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and herbs to desired size. Add to couscous and mix in.
I tend to like this on the “drier” side – and the directions will indicate that. If you like it with more dressing, simply add more olive oil and lemon. Add a bit of olive oil (1-2 TB) stir and taste. If it is really lemony already, just add a bit of lemon juice, if it needs more, add up to a half. Taste again and add salt to desired seasoning.
* depending on how much lemon flavor you want in the couscous or how juicy the lemon is.