How to make tabouleh: couscous salad

When the good weather comes and the temperatures rise, there is nothing more appetizing than preparing a delicious fresh and digestive salad like tabbouleh. If it is also loaded with flavor and health benefits, it becomes a dish that you will want to try.

What is the tabouleh?

The tabouleh or tabbuleh it's a dish originating from Lebanese cuisine, although its use is extended to other countries in the region, such as Jordan, Syria and Palestine.

It is a tomato-based salad and fresh herbs with wheat semolina, dressed with lemon and olive oil. Its preparation is simple, but the result surprises with its intense freshness and flavor.

As with many traditional recipes, you can find slight variations in its preparation. On a regular basis, bulgur is used, but it is also replaced by couscous, as in the recipe that we present in the following article.

A salad with many benefits

From the Middle East, tabouleh has spread to other regions thanks to its rich flavor and the fact that it is a very easy salad to cook. But in addition, its consumption has some advantages that are worth highlighting.

One of them is that provides slow-absorbing carbohydrates that provide energy on a regular and long-lasting basis. Therefore, it is a good option for athletes or people with high physical wear and tear.

It is a dish rich in fiber, both due to the presence of vegetables and couscous. As indicated by the American Heart Association, this component can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type II diabetes.

It is also a dish that provides vitamins and minerals in significant quantities., especially vitamin C and several of group B. It stands out the contribution of lycopene of the tomato, an antioxidant that is object of study for its possible preventive effects against cancer.

The couscous version of the tabouleh is an alternative to the original that uses bulgur.

Discover more: Properties of lycopene and foods that contain it

Ingredients needed to prepare tabouleh at home

With these quantities, 4 servings are prepared. However, depending on the use that is going to be given to the dish and the tastes of the diners, the proportions may vary a little. Even add extra ingredients:

  • 160 grams of precooked couscous. To enjoy all the benefits of fiber and other nutrients in wheat, it is preferable to use it whole.
  • 200 grams of tomato.
  • 50 grams of chives.
  • The juice of 1 or 2 lemons.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 1 cup of fresh peppermint.
  • 2 cups of fresh parsley.

Step by step for its elaboration

  1. To start the recipe, cook the couscous following the manufacturer's instructions. If it is precooked (something ideal when you are short of time) it is only necessary to soak with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. Stir with a fork to obtain a homogeneous hydration.
  2. Next, prepare the vegetables. Wash and cut the tomato into small cubes and do the same with the spring onion.
  3. Once done, place the couscous in a salad bowl and add the tomato and onion.
  4. Wash the fresh herbs and pat dry with a little kitchen paper. Chop very finely with a sharp knife. In this case, the parsley and mint do not accompany, but are the protagonists of the dish. For this they have to be in abundant quantity.
  5. Add together with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  6. season with salt and pepper to taste. Then water with a good jet of olive oil and the juice of one or two lemons. Mix to integrate all the ingredients with the dressing.
  7. Keep in the fridge for an hour to enjoy the fresh couscous salad.

Outside of the traditional recipe, this salad goes well with other ingredients, such as cucumber, red pepper or some black olives.

Parsley is a protagonist of the tabouleh and not a mere addition that accompanies it.

Prepare: Chicken couscous

The latest tips for preparing a delicious tabouleh

Among all the ingredients in this delicious salad, the main character is parsley. So it is imperative not to skimp on the added amounts, along with some fresh mint.

To combine well with couscous, cut and chop everything as finely as possible. Also, if the tomato is very juicy, it is advisable to drain for a while to remove excess juice that could water down the salad.

In a typical meal of the region, the best accompaniment to tabouleh is hummus, babaganoush or the kebabs grilled. Likewise, you can not miss the pita bread for dipping and some baklavas for dessert.

If you do not have much time, you can prepare a day in advance. Thus it is enjoyed at the moment and with all the well-integrated and settled flavors. For this, it is advisable to store each ingredient separately and well covered in the refrigerator.

Couscous is derived from wheat, so This salad is not suitable for people with celiac disease. Alternatively, it can be made with quinoa, millet, or rice; three gluten-free grains.

To finish, it is only necessary to add that, as in all recipes, the secret is in its ingredients. So it is advisable to choose fresh and quality couscous and vegetables to be sure of success.