This couscous salad tastes lovely and fresh and goes very well with a bit of lamb. It’s easy to make and requires hardly any work at all.
But why do I call this dish a salad, when many people would call it tabbouleh? Let me explain.
The first time I ate tabbouleh, it was pre-made and bought at the supermarket. I don’t usually buy pre-made dinner like that but in this case I’m glad I did, because it was really tasty. After looking at the ingredients list though, I decided I could probably make my own just as well. So I started my search for a recipe.
I quickly discovered two things. First, that tabbouleh is a dish from Lebanon. Second, that my supermarket tabbouleh was nothing like it. Traditional tabbouleh is a side dish that contains mainly parsley with some tomatoes, herbs and bulghur. My store-bought version mainly contained couscous, with only a few specks of parsley. I found recipes for both of those very different versions and they were all called tabbouleh. It was all very confusing.
In the end I realised that the “tabbouleh” I had eaten and enjoyed, was actually a kind of couscous salad. But if it tastes nice, why not go with it? So, after some experimenting, I came up with this recipe, perfect for the spring season. It contains couscous, cucumber, tomatoes and a lot of herbs. When I prepared the dish for this post, I mainly used dry herbs, because it’s still pretty early in the growing season. Hence, my herb garden is still a bit bare. But as the weather gets better, I’ll be sure to experiment by adding all kinds of fresh herbs to the mix.
Where the Lebanese original is more of a side-dish, this salad is actually a main dish. It’s especially tasty when paired with a bit of lamb. But, on it’s own, it can also be used as a part of a vegan or vegetarian meal.