This fresh salad is a hearty take on the traditional Middle Eastern Tabbouleh. Bulgur is replaced by giant couscous, which is mixed with fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and pomegranate seeds. It is then dressed with dried mint, sumac, lemon juice, and olive oil. A great winter salad.
A Variation on a Theme
Traditionally tabbouleh is a salad made with finely chopped fresh parsley, mint, sumac, fine bulgur wheat, tomatoes, onion and is dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. It is a Levantine salad and is commonly served as part of a mezze in the Middle East.
This recipe is a variation of the traditional recipe. It swaps bulgur for giant couscous and also adds cucumber, fresh coriander and pomegranate arils to the salad. This is a great winter salad as it is hearty due to the giant couscous. Also, pomegranates are in abundance during the winter months in the UK.
I love this salad with the pomegranate arils looking like little jewels in the salad. If you can’t find pomegranates or you want to make this in the summer, this salad is still gorgeous without them.
What is Giant Couscous?
The tiny couscous grains you are probably the most familiar with are a yellow-hued grain. They are traditionally made from the hard part of the durum wheat kernel (semolina). The semolina is mixed with water to form the small grains. It is steamed and dried, with a fluffy texture. Couscous originates in North Africa, and can be used in place of rice and pasta. Giant couscous are small balls of pasta. It is made by repeating the couscous-making process but gradually adds water to the semolina, rolling it to create larger grains. Giant couscous has a bouncy texture.
Serve this Dish With…
An incredibly versatile salad that complements many meals as a side salad. Also a great replacement for rice as the carb offering in a meal! Serve this salad alongside other mezze-style dishes. Pairs well with chicken kebabs like Persian saffron chicken kebabs (Jujeh Kabab). Also great with grilled salmon as pictured below.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
Hearty Tabbouleh (with Giant Couscous)
- 150 g giant couscous (also known as Israeli or pearl couscous)
- 5 spring onions
- 200 g cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium cucumber
- 40 g fresh parsley
- 40 g fresh coriander
- 1 medium pomegranate
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Cook the Giant Couscous:Place a medium saucepan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and toast giant couscous for a few minutes. Pour water over to cover with 2 inches clear and bring to a boil. Cook couscous until soft circa 10 mins. Drain and leave to one side to cool down and until ready to use.
- Prepare the other Salad Ingredients:Finely dice cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Finely slice spring onions. Finely chop fresh coriander and parsley. Remove arils from pomegranate. Add all ingredients plus couscous to a serving bowl.
- Dress and Serve the Hearty Tabbouleh:Add dried mint, sumac, salt and pepper to the salad. Drizzle generously with olive oil and add juice from 1 lemon. Toss, taste and adjust seasoning or dressing to taste. Serve the salad.