Tabbouleh is one of my go-to salad recipes, and I’m sure it’ll be one of yours too!
As a child, I remember my dad making it throughout the summer months, picking fresh mint & parsley leaves from the back garden, and finding the tastiest vegetables from local suppliers!
I can almost smell it now, and anytime I put together this fresh dish I’m brought straight back to those carefree times! They do say that olfactory memories are the most emotive, after all.
I think I must have some Mediterranean blood in me because eating tabbouleh feels like home to me! Between the zingy citrus, the crunch of cucumber, and the flavor-packed herbs, I’m sure you’re going to fall in love with this recipe too.
It’s a classic people pleaser and always features on the table spread when we have summer get-togethers!
While each of the ingredients are quite simple, once you throw them all together they transform into a timeless dish where you’ll be fighting for seconds!
Many recipes call for bulgur wheat but I’m honestly a bigger fan of couscous! It’s so easy to make and super tasty, but you make your choice.
You’ll see that this is the magic of tabbouleh, you can tweak it depending on how you like it.
Let’s dive in!
- 1 cup dry couscous
- 1 cup diced cucumber (½ large)
- 1 cup diced tomato* (5 large cherry tomatoes)
- 1 packed cup parsley (large bunch)
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint (half a bunch)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
To make perfect couscous, simply add 1 cup of dry couscous, 1 cup of boiling water, and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes while you begin preparing the vegetables!
Now begins the chopping labor of love! It can be very meditative once you get into it, and make sure you have a sharp knife! Begin by cutting the cucumber into quarters length-ways and slice away the watery center where the seeds are, these will make the couscous mushy and we don’t want that!
Continue slicing into eights and then chop them nice and small into little cubes.
Dice the tomatoes and add a pinch of salt before placing them in a colander to drain the excess juice. Salt is magic in the way it draws out excess moisture and this step really helps us keep that classic texture!
At this stage, it’s best to begin cooling the couscous. Use a fork to lightly scrape the couscous out of the bowl onto a plate (or two). Spread it out evenly and it will cool down quickly!
Once you’ve rinsed your herbs, cut off the thick stems, and get chopping! It’s important to try and chop the herbs nice and fine, but not so much that the green color starts gathering on your chopping board! You should end up with 1 packed cup of chopped parsley and ½ cup of mint!
To make the dressing, mince 1 clove of garlic and then whisk it together with the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Here’s where you can play with it, adding extra lemon for zing or going wild with ½ teaspoon of cumin powder and a pinch of turmeric.
Find your flavor and make this your version, it’s all about experimenting!
In a large bowl, combine the cooled couscous with the chopped veg, herbs, and dressing.
Serve straight away, or cover and let rest in the fridge for 15 – 30 minutes.
This tabbouleh will make you feel like you’re on a beautiful coast in the Mediterranean, and you’ll get all the benefits of one of the world’s healthiest diets too! Parsley is packed with vitamin A, C, and K.
It also contains lots of antioxidants which help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer!
Know that you can get creative with this recipe and make it your own. There are times when I add 1 cup of garbanzo beans to fill it out a bit more or use some sundried tomatoes for a deeper flavor. Adding some thinly diced red or green onions can be a lovely addition too! Let us know what you come up with!
It will also keep in the fridge for up to 4 days in a sealed container, so if you’re into meal prep why not double up on the recipe and have lunch done in advance?
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