Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad made with ingredients such as mint, parsley, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, lemon juice and bulgur wheat. This is a slight twist on the usual version with wholewheat couscous being used in place of the bulgar wheat.
Some versions also include some sweetness by adding such ingredients as raisins or pomegranate seeds (in a Jamie Oliver version). Our version is with mulberries, which works really well with this recipe. We’re a big fan of mulberries in our house. They are not readily available in supermarkets in Ireland. We often buy them in the supermarket when we go to France and bring them home with us, but if the kids get hold of them, they’re gone. Luckily we have found that they are actually available in a lot of health food shops and foody type emporiums in Ireland.
We use whole wheat couscous as we always aim to use the whole grain version of any grains we are cooking with, since they are more nutritious and contain more fiber. It is still a very quick grain to prepare and is ready to eat after soaking in boiling water for five minutes. Soaking the mulberries along with the couscous helps to soften them up, we use couscous and mulberries in a number of dishes.
The wonderful thing about salads is that they are a great way to experience a melody flavors from fresh vegetables, fruits herbs and spices, and to increase the dietary intake of nutritionally dense raw ingredients. Mint and parsley are two herbs that are relatively easy to grow in your back garden or balcony (even in the Irish climate), so they are both choices for herbs to grow, so that you have a fresh supply when needed.
This salad works well on it’s own since its quite filling, or can be served as part of a big spread. It can of course be served with the more traditional bulgar wheat instead of couscous, and if you can’t get hold of mulberries it can work without these, or with some raisins, pomegranate seeds or some gogi berries
- 200 grams of wholegrain couscous
- a handful of dried mulberries
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 regular sized tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1/3 of a cucumber
- 2 lemons
- a big bunch of fresh mint
- a small bunch of fresh parsley
Pour the dry wholegrain couscous into a salad bowl, add the turmeric, mulberries and some salt and pepper to it. Mix well.
Follow the cooking instructions for the couscous. For this recipe we poured 250 ml of boiling water over the couscous and covered for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and let the wholegrain couscous cool down while chopping the veg.
Chop onions, cucumber and tomatoes in very small cubes.
Finely chop the mint and parsley.
Squeeze the juice of the 2 lemons.
Add chopped vegetables, herbs and lemon juice to the couscous and mix everything together.
Can be served straight away, put if you have the time to prepare in advance, put in the fridge for one hour in order to let the couscous absorb the flavors.