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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.

Serves 6

  • 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.

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6 Responses to Tabouli

  1. TasteFood July 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    I love tabbouleh! And I love your recipe – so fresh and light.

    • lizthechef July 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

      Thanks – I agonized how to spell it 😉

  2. sippitysup July 22, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    Such a favorite in my house. GREG

    • lizthechef July 22, 2011 at 1:53 am #

      I shudder to ask how hard you had to work to make your comment, dear Greg. It means so much to me. Thanks.

  3. jaynerly July 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    How lovely & summery, I love tabouleh (different spelling again!) I make a similar salad minus the cucumber (husband is a hater!) I will try your version one day when cooking just for myself!

    • lizthechef July 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

      I think your spelling is my new favorite 😉

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