TABOULEH – english

Ingredients for 4 people:

– Between 260-300gr couscous or 220-250gr bulgur wheat

-225 ml water ( for couscous ) 450-500ml water ( for bulgur ) -200gr cherry tomatoes cut into quarters -1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped -75gr black olives without pips finely chopped

-3-4 tablespoons chopped mint ( if fresh 2-3 are enough)

For the vinaigrette : -200ml oil -100ml red wine vinegar -a pinch of ground black pepper ans salt -2 teaspoons white sugar

Note on vinaigrette: There are lots of versions of vinaigrette; my favourite is my mother´s recipe which uses vegetable oil (in England) or Girasol (in Spain) with malt vinegar. Malt vinegar may seem too strong but this is counter- balanced by the sugar. If using veg oil and malt vinegar use 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Optional extra: use a pinch of mustard powder or a teaspoon of ready -made mustard.

Note on making vinaigrette: Put all ingredients in a jar and shake well- taste and add a little more sugar if too acidic. Alone it will taste quite acidic but once combined with the couscous and other ingredients it marries well.

Put the couscous in a bowl , add boiling water , cover and leave for 5-10 minutes, once it has absorbed all the water and is soft seperate the grains with a fork This dish is often made with bulgur, as its larger grain creates a good balance in texture with the other ingredients. When using bulgur, put in a saucepan with the water ( always 1 part bulgur to two parts water) and bring to the boil, turn down the heat slightly so that it simmers and cook until soft ( making sure it doesn´t stick) . When cooked, rinse well under cold tap water.

Once the couscous or bulgur is done mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add the vinaigrette( make sure it is has been shaken well beforehand) , leave to cool and serve with your favourite lettuce and pitta bread.

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