“Romanian Style” Tabbouleh

A Big Bunch of Parsley

Since I had bought a big bunch of parsley but had only used maybe half of it for a soup, I was wondering what to do with the rest before it goes bad in the fridge.

It wasn’t too hard to decide for tabbouleh: it is a salad I really like, and it’s made with lots of parsley. One can find plenty of recipes online, so why not give it a try and make it at home myself? I pretty much had all the other ingredients on hand.

Then I realized that most, if not all recipes, also call for a few sprigs of fresh mint. I didn’t have any mint…

And, to be honest, I’m not a fan either: I like mint in a tea, in a candy or as After Eight. But in a salad? Not really.

I did have a big bunch of dill, though. Dill is an amazing addition to many foods and. personally, I like it most sprinkled on tomato salad –it brings its flavor to a whole new level, I find. Why wouldn’t it work equally well in tabbouleh?

Another “problem” I had was with the dressing, which is traditionally made with lemon juice. I’m not a fan of lemon juice in salads, either. I opted for a simple, yet very tasty dressing made with vinegar – another recipe I found online.     

The result was amazing! A surprisingly flavorful, light and refreshing salad – I had to stop myself from eating the entire bowl at once…

"Romanian Style" Tabbouleh

“Romanian Style” Tabbouleh

 

Recipe – “Romanian Style” Tabbouleh Salad

 

Ingredients

IMG_0655For the salad:

2 cups parsley leaves (about 20-25 sprigs)

1 cup dill (10-15 sprigs)

6 – 8 cherry tomatoes

a piece of English cucumber, about 4 inches / 12 cm

2 green onions (or only the green parts of 4)

half of a small, red bell pepper (or ¼ red, ¼ yellow)

 

IMG_0663For the couscous:

1 cup couscous

1 cup and about 2 tablespoons of water

½ teaspoon of salt

 

 

 

 

IMG_0657For the dressing:

3 tablespoons oil (I use hemp oil)

1 tablespoon vinegar (I use rice vinegar)

1 garlic clove

½ teaspoon salt

a pinch of ground pepper  

 

 

Method

  • Thoroughly wash the parsley and dill. Pluck the leaves, discard the thicker stems.
  • Wash the cherry tomatoes (you can use a Roma tomato instead, but remove the soft part with the seeds)
  • Cut half a pepper, clean and wash
  • Cut a piece of cucumber, peel, cut in half and remove the soft part with the seeds, wash
  • Cut off the root part of the green onions / scallions and wash
  • Prepare the couscous: in a small pot bring the water to a boil. Add salt. Once the water boils, remove pot from the heat, pour in the couscous, stir, cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes until the water is entirely absorbed.
  • Prepare the vinaigrette: into a small bowl crush the garlic clove, add a pinch of pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 3 tablespoons oil. Mix and let sit.
  • Chop the herbs and vegetables finely and place them in a salad bowl.

 IMG_0661

 

  • Once the couscous is cool, gently fluff it with a fork or rub it between your fingers to loosen the grains and get rid of clumps.
  • Add the couscous to the bowl. Drizzle over the vinaigrette. Toss gently until all ingredients are evenly mixed. Taste the salad, add more salt and / or vinegar if needed.
  • Cover the bowl and place in the fridge or in a cool place for at least half an hour to give the flavors time to combine

Bon appétit!

 

Some tips and tricks

IMG_0652To wash the herbs: I do this in the salad spinner. I find it easier – you just cover the herbs with water and swish them around so that any dirt comes off; let sit for a few moments; drain; repeat.

Then spin the herbs dry.

 

 

 

 

IMG_0654Storing fresh herbs: I store my fresh herbs “like flowers”. I place them in a glass with some water, put a plastic bag on top and store them in the fridge. This way they keep fresh up to three weeks. Parsley usually keeps better than dill.

You should check them every 3-4 days: change the water, remove any wilted or soggy leaves, cut off a little bit of the stems if they look rotten and – very important – turn the plastic bag inside out and cover the herbs with the dry surface.

 

IMG_0660

Hemp oil: I discovered this product recently, and prefer it because it is cleaner and more natural than most other oils on the market – it is raw, cold-pressed, cold-filtered and contains no added preservatives or dyes. It also has several health benefits, so it’s well worth adding it to your diet. It’s green!

 

 

 

Other grains: you can use bulgur, as this is traditionally used for tabbouleh.

For an extra fancy and healthy version, quinoa has become a very popular substitute. Rinse the quinoa seeds well before cooking to get rid of their slightly bitter taste.

 

= All photos on this page belong to me =


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