Tabouleh is one of the easiest salads you could prepare. All you need to do is to cook semolina until soft and fluffy and season it with a mixture of lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. I also added pickled grape vine leaves for a briny flavor to the salad and feta cheese for more creaminess.
This can be made in advance and is great to bring to a pot luck.
Yields: 6 servings1 cup couscous
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ red onion, finely chopped
4 pickled grape vine leaves, finely chopped
4 cloves pickled garlic (see tips), finely minced
8 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
½ cup flat-leaf parsley (leaves only), chopped
5 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ cup feta cheese, diced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
Gather about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and about ½ cup of lemon juice.
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil. Add honey (if used), the lemon zest, pickled garlic, chopped red onions, mint and parsley. Stir well. Finish with feta cheese. Set aside.
Fill a small saucepan with 1-½ cups of water. Bring to a boil. Pour the liquid into the semolina (previously placed in a glass container). Cover immediately with a plate. Place in the microwave for about a minute. Check the softness, add a little more water and continue cooking if necessary (I didn't). Fluff the semolina with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature.
Add the contents of the small bowl, the chopped tomatoes and the chopped grape vine leaves. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Garnish with lemon slices.
If you don't have semolina (coarsely-ground durum wheat), you could use quinoa, bulgur (wheat grains that are partly cooked), regular couscous (tiny pasta made from semolina), Israeli couscous or even cooked pasta.
I buy pickled grape vine leaves at my local Middle Eastern market. If you live in the Bay Area, check out the Rose Market -1060 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94040.Published By: on July 11, 2011.