It is funny how quickly one can get used to being able to buy everything from a supermarket. Life in Algeria is not so convenient! You can spend half a day shopping trying to find what you need to cook a particular dish. It is far easier to be flexible and use what is available. Seasonal produce is always abundant but salad leaves are in short supply and tend to only come in the soggy, boring variety. A few days eating these salads and you start to look for more creative alternatives. Needless to say, since I have have got home, my family have been eating a lot of our Classic Chickpea Salads. Tabbouleh salad makes lunch a little more adventurous and brings a taste of the Levant to your table. Bulgar wheat is normally used in this dish but I have made it with couscous as we have yet to find bulgar on our expeditions.
Serves 6 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
250g / 2 Cups Couscous
2 beef Tomatoes
2 medium Beetroot
1 white Onion
1 bunch of Parsley (approx 75g)
1 bunch of Mint (approx 75g)
1/2 bunch of Coriander (approx 50g)
1/2 Lemon, squeezed into lemon juice
1/2 Lemon, grated into small peel
Couscous is traditionally steamed over boiling water. Place the couscous in a bowl and sprinkle lightly with water as this will allow the grains to swell before being cooked. You are normally able to sprinkle the couscous with water three or four times before cooking the grains. Place in the steamer and allow the steam to cook the couscous. This takes approximately 10 minutes and it is done when the steam is evaporating and the grains are fluffy and not sticking together. Alternatively, you can make couscous by covering with boiling water and leaving for a few minutes until it has absorbed all of the liquid.
Chop all of the vegetables (except the avocado) into small cubes. I tend to get all of the prep done first so that it makes putting the salad together very quick. Roughly chop the herbs and grate and squeeze the lemon. Put all of the ingredients in a big bowl and mix together, evenly distributing the lemon juice. Season to taste and serve with the avocado peeled and chopped on top.
We ate it for lunch with flatbread, fresh from the local bakery and our classic chickpea salad on the side! It would taste nicer if Jacs was here to share it! : )