By Helen Klein
The ingredients to a mouth-watering Middle Eastern side dish may lie just in your cupboard. All you need is couscous, that highly versatile pasta.
Tossed with citrus juice, chopped herbs and a little olive oil, a pint container of the stuff is reinvented as tabouli, almost effortlessly morphing into a side dish for lunch or a light dinner that also adds a note of brightness to a cold winter day.
I used cilantro, cumin, lemon juice and scallions in my version because that’s what I had at hand, and the combination evoked the myriad delights of the Middle Eastern table. But, I could just as easily have used garlic in place or in addition to the scallions, ground coriander instead of the cumin, and dill or mint and parsley instead of the cilantro.
Serves 6 as a side dish
2 cups cooked couscous
3 scallions, chopped
1 loosely packed cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbl. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped tomatoes, for garnish
Toss the couscous with the scallions and cilantro, breaking up clumps of the couscous as you mix.
Combine lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper in a screw top jar and shake to combine. Dress couscous mixture and stir to blend, taste and correct seasoning, then turn out onto serving plate.
Distribute tomatoes around the edge of the couscous mixture to garnish.