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Couscous Tabouli with Minted Cucumber, Tomato and Bell Pepper

Couscous Tabouli CucumberRecipe by Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, FAND, CFCS

A classic Middle East salad, tabouli has become a Western favorite – and a flavorful way to fit grains and vegetables into lunch and dinner menus. Traditionally made with soaked, uncooked bulgur (or other grain foods such as cooked and chilled couscous, quinoa or orzo) and fresh vegetables and herbs, this is a fresh, tart salad. Use the grain ingredient you have on hand – but consider whole grain options!

Ingredients

2 cooked whole wheat pearl couscous, chilled *
1 cup yellow and/or red cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium unwaxed cucumber, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
2/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded, diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 medium green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice **
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel **
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon (or to taste) freshly-ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Put the couscous, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, mint, bell pepper, feta cheese, and green onions in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, lemon peel, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over couscous mixture; toss gently to coat. 

Cooking Notes

  • To cook pearl couscous, simmer 1 cup whole wheat pearl couscous in 1 1/4 cup water, covered, for 10 minutes. Pearl couscous, also called Israeli couscous or ptitim, has a chewy, nutty flavor, somewhat like barley. Compared with traditional couscous, the granules are somewhat larger, firmer in texture, and less likely to clump together. If pearl couscous is not available, use traditional couscous.
  • Variation: Substitute orange juice and orange peel for lemon juice and lemon peel.

Nutrition Information

Serves 8 (Serving size: 3/4 cup)

Calories: 170; Calories from fat: 70; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 2g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 170mg; Total carbohydrate: 23g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 2g; Protein: 6g