Recipe: Mint and parsley "help-what's-in-the-cupboard" tabbouleh
Tabbouleh is another one of those recipes that SHOULD be made one way, traditionally- except that every traditional recipe is quite different- so it's a handy recipe if you have lots of stuff growing in the garden but not much else to hand.
The basic principle is that it's a herb salad with a bit of bulghur wheat or couscous in it- and it really should have tomatoes, something citrus and something oniony in it as well.
The verdict on this tabbouleh recipe was that it's "more sophisticated than usual"- which was a surprise, as I'm not at all sure how tomato puree makes something more sophisticated than fresh tomatoes. But it went down very well and used up a bit of the parsley that grows so rampantly in the garden that we've been known to mow sections which have been taking over!
The weird thing is, for a salad that's mostly made of parsley and mint, it doesn't really taste of parsley or mint. Even our resident parsley hater quite likes it!
1/2 cup couscous (bulghur wheat is nicer but we'd run out...) or less if you prefer a more herby salad
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (and chilli if you like)
A big double handful of flat leaf parsley (I've never tried using curly parsley but it would probably be quite a strange result)
2 stems of mint approx 30cm long each
2 giant chives, or a handful of normal chives, or an onion, or a couple of spring onions
A couple of chopped courgette
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/4 cup of hot water
The bottom 3 ingredients replace putting in 2-3 fresh tomatoes- I think fresh tomatoes make a nicer tabbouleh- but the family surprisingly disagreed!
You will also need
A sharp knife and chopping board
A zester or vegetable peeler (optional)
A fork or lemon juicer
A mixing bowl or dish at least 1l in size
Pour the couscous (or bulghur wheat) into the bowl.
Add the juice and zest of the lemon, the olive oil, the tomato puree and hot water and leave to stand.
Take all the herb leaves off their stalks and chop very finely
Chop the courgette (or tomatoes)
Stir everything into the bowl
Leave in the fridge for at least a couple of hours for the flavours to develop
Add salt, pepper and chilli to taste
This is really nice as a side dish with pittas or by itself - it's especially lovely topped with some crunchy toasted seeds or feta cheese.