If I had to pick my favorite summer recipe, I think it would have to be “tabouli”. No matter how you spell it, this is a wonderful warm-weather dish that is a terrific combination of whole grain and fresh summer vegetables.
I prefer to make mine using wholewheat couscous instead of the traditional bulgur. The couscous seems to have a more delicate taste and texture than does the bulgur, and can be prepared more quickly. I like to “brew” the couscous in low-sodium chicken stock.The lemon juice adds enough acid for me to forego salt.
My mother always used to throw celery into her tabouli, and I sometimes add sliced, spicy radishes or sweet red bell pepper. For a change, you can substitute fresh dill for the mint and parsley combo. Lately, I have fallen for those small, crisp Persian cucumbers and use about 4 of them in place of the English cucumber.
Leftover tabouli is never a problem in our household. Add some cooked and chilled chicken or salmon and, presto, another meal.
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups wholewheat couscous
- juice of 2 Meyer lemons or any organic lemons
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- sea salt and/or ground black pepper(optional)
- 1 bunch scallions, white and light green portions, chopped
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 1 cup flat-leaved parsley, chopped
- 1 hothouse or “English” cucumber, unpeeled, chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
1. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the chicken stock until it boils. Turn off the heat, stir in the couscous, cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
2. Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork and spoon into a medium-sized bowl. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Stir. Salt and pepper to taste – or not. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, uncovered.
3. Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber and tomato. stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving.