Monday, August 10, 2009

Vegetarian recipe: couscous tabbouleh

Another friend of mine sent me this Couscous Tabbouleh recipe...very well done and easy to follow.
All the Narrative is his :)

"Another in my irregular series of recipes. I specify couscous as tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgar wheat. It's a very simple dish and easy to make - this is just my slight variation."

1 cup plain couscous
1 small red onion
2 tomatoes
half a cucumber
half a cup of extra virgin olive oil
half a cup of lemon juice
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
salt, pepper
fresh rosemary
half a cup of boiling water
a head of romaine lettuce

Couldn't be simpler. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Put the kettle on.

Put the rosemary in the oven for 2 minutes (not more) while you mix the oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and crushed garlic. Turn off the oven and add the rosemary to the dressing.

Put the couscous into a lidded dish or bowl. The kettle has boiled, so mix half the dressing with half a cup of boiling water (making 1 cup total), pour over the couscous, stir and cover with a plate or lid. Put this bowl/dish in the freezer.

Chop the tomato, cucumber and onion into 1cm (2/5") cubes or so and mix with the remaining dressing (to taste). Put this salad in the fridge.

Take off the outer 2 or 3 leaves of the romaine, chop the tail off, separate and wash the leaves, dry in a salad spinner (if you don't have a salad spinner, get one - you won't regret it). Arrange the leaves vertically around the edges of a serving bowl (as if you stood the lettuce in the middle and they all fell outward perfectly to lean against the sides).

By this time, the couscous should have absorbed all the liquid and be reasonably cool. Throw in the fridged salad mix and stir. (At this point you are ready to serve, but if you're preparing ahead of time, you can refrigerate it indefinitely with no loss of taste - in fact it gets better - and just do the lettuce part at the last minute).

Pour the tabbouleh into the serving bowl, so it covers the bottom half of the romaine leaves. The idea is that you use the leaves as scoops to scoop up tabbouleh. Double dipping is encouraged.

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