Turkish Tabbouleh Salad
(serves 8 as a side dish)
Place:
1/2 c couscous
1/2-3/4 c warm water
in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes or so, until the couscous is light and fluffy.
 
Combine with the couscous:
1  bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1  bunch fresh mint, chopped
2   green onions, chopped
1 T cumin seeds, toasted lightly and ground
1   lemon, juiced
2 T olive oil
1 t salt, to taste
 
    Stir together, garnish with lemon slices, chill and serve.
Notes & Variations:
  1. This is basically how tabouli is made in the large Turkish community of Berlin.  It's very simple and fresh, and the cumin gives it a distinctive flavor.  Using Italian broad-leaf parsley instead of curly parsley gives the dish more depth. 
  2. You can add tomatoes but they aren't necessary and, unless they are homegrown and really good, will more likely detract from the dish.
  3. Most people make tabbouli with cracked bulghur wheat instead of couscous.  We prefer couscous because it is lighter, and very simple to prepare.  The main thing is not to use too much of it.  Tabbouleh should be predominantly a parsley and mint salad, with approximately twice as much parsley as mint.
  4. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can grind the cumin seeds in an electric coffee grinder or a peppermill, or simply chop them up finely.