Barley Couscous Tabbouleh

For our version of “tabbouleh”, we’ve substituted barley couscous for the traditional bulgur wheat.  As well as speeding up the preparation, the barley gives this dish a nuttier, more wholesome taste and texture, which we think complements the herbs perfectly.


Serves 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes


Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian 


You will need: 




1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped 


Place the oil over a low heat, and when just hot add the onion and the garlic, stir them and cover. Sweat until soft.


1 teaspoon ground cumin



After a few minutes add the cumin to the onion mix, and stir thoroughly.  Leave to cook for 2 minutes until soft.


100g barley couscous

200ml hot vegetable stock,




Add the onion mix to the couscous in a

large salad bowl and cover with the hot stock. Cover with a cloth and leave to absorb the liquid for 5 – 10 minutes.


Small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

Small handful fresh mint, finely copped



Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then mix through all of the chopped herbs and the spring onion, so that they are properly and evenly incorporated.


¼ cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into small dice

2 tomatoes, quartered, deseeded and cut into small dice


Stir the cucumber and tomatoes to the couscous mix.


To Serve:

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste



Shake the olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper together in a jar. Drizzle over the couscous and serve.


Jennifer’s Tip:

While not exactly traditional, I often spice up my tabouleh by adding ½ teaspoon of red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped, and the zest of ½ lemon (added with the herbs).

 Pair With:

  • Mains: Blue Cheese Burgers; Red Mullet en Papillote
  • Sides: Celeriac Remoulade; Broccoli with Garlic and Chilli; Honey and Balsamic Roasted Vegetables.


Tabbouleh forms the basis of many wonderful salads;  in particular I love griddling some halloumi which I place on top, or serving it with some flat bread and Tzatziki. Yum.