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
Recipe – “Romanian Style” Tabbouleh Salad
For 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)
For the couscous:
1 cup couscous
1 cup and about 2 tablespoons of water
½ teaspoon of salt
For 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
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.
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
Some tips and tricks
To 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.
Storing 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.
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.
I have always liked writing but, being a mother of two and working full-time, it's not easy to find time for my hobbies.
I love nature and I'm committed to healthy cooking and clean, environment-friendly living. Oh, and I love coffee.