Tabbouleh MusingsPosted: June 4, 2012
After years of living hither and yon, Mike (the Gay Beer Guy) is back in CT and we were finally going to cook together in person. The reason for this cooking was an outdoor concert of the orchestra we’ve both played in (Mike for four years while he was in high school, me since its founding 30-plus years ago). As we do with orchestra alums, Mike was welcomed back with open arms to play. The concert, the last of the season, was an outdoor one where people bring picnics and eat and drink under the sky while we play. It’s generally a festive event. Children run around unhindered by shushing parents and good friends chat, all while we provide some nice music.(At least this is what happens when the weather cooperates. This year, it rained so everyone picnicked in the gym while we played. Not ideal but so it goes.)
Anyway Mike and I decided to make a couple of salads as our contribution to the group. I had never made tabbouleh before (pathetic I know) but have been obsessed with it recently, regularly buying large containers to in theory share with my husband, only to scarf it all down myself. He’s lucky if he gets a tablespoonful, no joke.
And this is where the full pathetic nature of where I shop comes to the fore: I could not find bulghur anywhere. That’s right, no bulghur, despite the fact that it really is not some esoteric oddity. I couldn’t believe it.
But I didn’t want to give up on my tabbouleh, so I decided to substitute pearl couscous for the bulghur and while the consistency was obviously different, the taste was just lovely. Someday I will live in a place where bulghur is not considered in the same vein as, say, pig’s feet. In the meantime, this rendition will do just nicely, thank you.
Tabbouleh Couscous or Couscous Tabbouleh
1 cup pearl couscous
1/4 cup squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup minced scallions
1 cup chopped mint leaves
1 cup chopped parsley OR ( in a further sign of lameness) 2 teaspoons dried parsley if you can’t find fresh in your grocery store (see comment on bulghur availability)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
about 3/4 cup feta cut into cubes
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pearl couscous according to the directions.
In a bowl mix the lemon juice, olive oil, scallions, mint, parsley, tomatoes and salt and pepper. Add the couscous when it’s done. Mix well. Then gently stir in the feta. Serve at room temperature.