Simple Couscous Tabouleh

Last spring I planted a bunch of different herbs in my garden. And then the super dry super hot summer teamed up with my extreme lack of plant growing ability and killed them all.  Except the parsley. The parsley not only survived, it thrived. It grew huge. It had no water for weeks and baked in the sun, yet it continued to grow. The puppy laid all over it and smooshed it into the ground and it continued to grow. The only problem was... what do you do with parsley??? I didn't know why I had planted it in the first place. I mean, you put parsley on plates in restaurants for a "garnish." Too bad that last summer I did not know tabouleh existed, or I would have used up ALL the parsley. And probably killed it. Oh well. 

Now that I know tabouleh exists, I love it! It is such a different sort of salad, full of summery flavor. It has a cool, herb-full flavor that goes perfectly with thick slices of multi-grain toast or whole wheat bread.

For my tabouleh, I started by juicing three lemons. 

I mixed the lemon juice with olive oil, pepper, and water, then added the couscous and cooked it in the microwave until the couscous was fluffy. If you did not know, couscous is a little pasta-type thing... kind of like a cross between a grain and a tiny pasta. It's good.

I then chopped up half of a cucumber into little pieces. I used half a cucumber because that is all I had. You can use a whole one if you like.

Then I chopped up a bunch of parsley.

I then tossed it all together with some balsamic vinegar, and chilled it. That's it! There are many recipes for tabouleh which have all sorts of things in them, from tomatoes to mint to bulgur wheat, but I like to keep mine to a minimum. Tabouleh is a delicious, simple summer lunch. Although my husband will say it's more of a side dish. He is a little leery of the "salad for lunch" idea.

Simple Couscous Tabouleh (printable recipe)
3 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 c lemon juice)
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c water
1 tsp pepper
1 & 1/2 c couscous
1/2 cucumber, chopped (or a whole cucumber. your choice.)
1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 3-4 cups)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, water, and pepper. Add couscous, and cook-- 3 min in microwave, then let stand until couscous is fluffy.
Toss couscous, cucumber, parsley, and vinegar in a large bowl.
Chill until cool (about an hour).

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