Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tabouli Salad

If you thought parsley was a garnish, you've never eaten Tabouli Salad.

Has anyone ever had an experience where they experienced something as an adult which retroactively ruined their childhood.  I had one of those a few months back... Perkins.  Growing up Perkins was sort of a fancy restaurant that we went to with my grandparents or parents after certain events like Piano recitals or basketball games.  (In retrospect, I was a sweaty eleven year old in sweats, so I don't know why I thought of Perkins as fancy).

In my minds eye, Perkins was fancy (the only restaurant from my childhood that had parsley on the plate) and incredibly delicious.  I remember the big juicy burgers and the amazing shakes.

So, when we were driving to Raleigh from Minneapolis, I begged Rob to stop at Perkins for just one meal.  Though he applied to my sensibilities, I insisted. And when we sat down, the table was a little sticky, and there were other crying babies with sticky mouths and the booths were a little sticky too.  My burger was a little overdone, and not really anything special, and I was too carsick to order a shake.

I ruined it.  Perkins is fine, edible, American cuisine, but it was so perfect in my memories that I cannot believe that I would allow myself to sully the past by going into a Perkins restaurant as an adult.

As a parent, I wonder how many more opportunities I will have to retroactively ruin my childhood.  Does the zoo suck? What about water parks?  Are picnics even fun? Is summer really the best season?

(Since I need a little validation, here's a link to someone who had a similar experience to mine).

Even though Perkins is ruined for me, I will still hold some memories dear.  Like the time my cousin Bjorn tried to convince me that if I ate the parsley on my Omlette plate it would kill me, and I ate it and didn't die.  Afterwards, I asked my mom if parsley was edible, and she said something about edible garnishes like rose petals (which I took to mean no).

It turns out that parsley is not just great for garnishing plates at large chain diners, it actually has a great flavor too.  I've eaten it in stuffed chicken, on pastas and other Italian dishes, but one of the best uses for parsley is in cold salads especially this Tabouli Salad.

I made this salad since I've made a public commitment to not buying more rice until our 20 lbs of couscous is used up, but I once again have found that this is actually a dish worth eating and sharing.  Couscous is arguably best eaten cold when the grains have the opportunity to show off their pearl like texture rather than taste sort of weirdly gritty.  This tabouli salad is light on the palate, citrusy, quick to fix and overall delicious.  I hope you enjoy this (however, if you are going to buy couscous consider a small 1-2lb bag).

On an unrelated note, Littlest has two teeth, but they are just barely poking through so no pictures just yet.

Tabouli Salad

This tabouli salad is the perfect summertime side. With cold couscous's pearly texture taking center stage accented by herbacious parsley and zesty lemon
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 Servings
  • 1 Cup Couscous
  • Approximately 2 Cups Boiling Water
  • 3 Cloves Garlic pressed (or minced)
  • 1 bunch Parsley Chopped
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes Diced
  • 3 Green Onions Finely sliced
  • 1 Lemon's worth Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1. Pour water on couscous and allow the couscous to absorb the water. 2. Allow couscous to cool for a few minutes. 3. Add lemon juice, olive oil and garlic to couscous and mix thoroughly 4. Add salt and pepper until you like the flavor of your couscous. Then add the rest of your ingredients and mix thoroughly. 5. Set salad aside for at least 30 minutes. You can store this in your fridge for several days.

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