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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tabouli-Inspired Couscous Salad

My favorite foodie friend Carolyn and I stepped out for lunch the other the other day at a Middle Eastern restaurant. The owner quickly developed a little crush on Carolyn and offered her an 'extra' side free of charge- go Carolyn!

This was a simple lunch place in the Loop but it was really quite good. Aside from the typical lamb on the spit, they had chicken roasting on the spit that was wonderful. It looked like they just took chicken breasts and layered them one after the other to form a large mound around the spit. I'll definitely get the chicken again

When I started to mill around that evening looking for dinner options, I saw two big bunches of parsley ... the taste of the tabouli salad from lunch came to mind - I love a good tabouli salad! Traditionally, this is made with bulger, parsley and tomatoes; my tabouli was going to be a tabouli-inspired salad using couscous, no tomatoes (due to the tomato salmonella scare) and an assortment of veggies topped with feta.

I'm pretty happy with this outcome; I could have used a bit more parsley because by the time I cleaned it all, much had gone bad already and there wasn't a whole lot left. So I'm giving the recipe for how much you should put in as opposed to how much I had on hand! This dish could be a side dish, or if you had some left over chicken or turkey, you could shred that up and turn this into a main course. Play with it, have fun with it, substitute whatever veggies you have in your fridge. And as always - be fat and happy!

Tabouli-Inspired Couscous Salad
2 Lemons juiced, 1 zested
2 cups of chopped parsley (simply cut this down if you don't have that much available)
1/4 cup of chopped mint
1/4 cup broccoli (chopped small)
1/4 cup radicchio (sliced in thin short strips)
1/4 cup green onion (chopped small)
1 cup cooked couscous (usually use bulgar)
feta cheese (handful to to)

Cook the couscous according to directions on package, let cool. Add all ingredients, except the lemon juice and feta, to a medium size bowl. Now drizzle the juice into the bowl, half at a time, tossing in between. Depending on the size of your lemon, you may not need all the juice - adjust according to taste. Keep in mind that the lemon juice is for flavor, but your not looking for a runny dressing. Allow the flavors to meld for at least an hour. Toss before serving and top with a handful of crumbled feta cheese.

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