Couscous Tabbouleh Salad (French Taboulé)
Couscous Tabbouleh Salad (French Taboulé) recipe. A fresh and flavorful tabbouleh salad made with couscous and seasoned with parsley, mint, tomato, and lemon juice.
Every time that I would visit my grandparents in France, we would eat this Couscous Tabbouleh Salad. It was usually part of a large lunch summer picnic spread and I remember loving how refreshing it was.
With lots of fresh parsley and mint, a burst of lemon juice flavor, and lots of tomato and cucumber, it was always one of the favorite summer salads on the table.
My mother recently gave me her recipe for French taboulé and I decided to test it out, tweak it a little and then post it here to share.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t know much about traditional tabbouleh. I thought all tabbouleh salads were made like this Couscous Tabbouleh Salad. But upon doing a little bit of research, I realized that tabbouleh made with couscous was a French thing.
In fact, when you go to the grocery store in France, you often see pre-made taboulé in containers and it is made with couscous. It also often has raisins in it. However, the recipe that my family makes never had raisins in it so I decided to stick with my family recipe because I love it so much.
Ingredients needed to make this Couscous Tabbouleh Salad:
- whole wheat couscous
- boiling water
- cherry tomatoes
- fresh parsley
- fresh mint
- English cucumber
- red bell pepper
- onion powder
- strained tomatoes
- lemon juice
- olive oil
One thing worth noting, if you are using regular couscous, which is lighter in color than whole wheat couscous, you may need a little less boiling water. I noticed that it needs less liquid than it’s whole wheat counterpart.
Tips on how to make this French Taboulé:
Step 1: prepare the couscous
Ok, to start, you need to get the couscous ready. To do this, add the couscous to a medium bowl, add boiling water to the bowl and mix. Then, immediately put a plate on top of the bowl, making sure it is completely covered. Let it sit for 5 minutes. This lets the couscous absorb the water and soften.
After 5 minutes, take the plate off the bowl and mix the couscous up, getting rid of larger clumps in the process.
Step 2: mix the cherry tomatoes, mint and parsley together
To do this, you need a food processor.
Add the tomatoes, mint and parsley to the food processor and mix until everything is mashed together and very fragrant.
If your food processor is on the smaller side, you may need to do this in batches.
Step 3: cut the red pepper and cucumber
Make sure the red pepper is diced and the cucumber is sliced and quartered.
It is important the pieces aren’t too large.
Step 4: mix everything together
To do this, it helps to mix it in the right order.
So, grab a large bowl and add the red peppers and cucumbers to it. Then add the couscous to the bowl.
Pour the mixed cherry tomato, parsley and mint from the food processor on top of the couscous. Mix everything together.
Then, add the onion powder, strained tomatoes, salt, lemon juice and olive oil to the bowl and mix again.
You want to make sure that all of the liquid any vegetable juices really mix into the couscous.
Step 5: Eat
Now this next part is all about personal preference. I personally like to eat this salad as soon as it is done.
However, my mother’s recipe recommends that you refrigerate this for several hours before serving.
The lemon juice and tomato juice absorb into the couscous more and more as time passes, which really enhances the flavor. If you have the time and don’t mind waiting then put the salad in the fridge for a few hours and then ENJOY.
Other French salads you may enjoy:
Now if you really want a French summer picnic, make this Couscous Tabbouleh salad, and the two salads above (beet salad and carrot grapefruit) and you will be in for a real treat!
Other Healthy salads you may enjoy:
This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad from Foolproof Living looks absolutely amazing. It’s got olives and feta to give it a Greek feel and has lots of great protein from the quinoa.
Couscous Tabbouleh Salad (French Tabloué)
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat couscous
- 1 cup boiling water
- 30 cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups fresh parsley , with stems cup off, (2.5 ounce bag)
- 3 Tbs fresh mint leaves
- 1 English cucumber, sliced and quartered
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/3 cup strained tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbs of lemon juice, ( This was the juice of 2 lemons for me)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put couscous into a bowl, add boiling water and mix. Cover the bowl with a plate and let the couscous rest for 5 minutes.
- Put the cherry tomatoes into a food processor with the parsley and mint leaves. Mix.
- Put the diced bell pepper and cucumber into a large bowl. Add the couscous to the bowl. Add the cherry tomato, parsley and mint mixture from the food processor to the bowl and mix. Cut up clumps of the couscous so it doesn't have large lumps.
- Add the onion powder, strained tomatoes, salt, lemon juice and olive oil to the bowl. Mix. Taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- This salad tastes best after it is refrigerated for a few hours, but you can eat this right away.
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