Mint Invasion - Part I: Mint and Feta Tabbouleh

Our mint patch has taken over the herb garden. The top canopy is almost chest-level, like a hedge. It has engulfed neighboring oregano and chives. Minty sucker scouts are popping up yards away. We act now or... deal with a worse situation next year. The strategy? Eat it. I'll be cooking a few recipes with mint to keep the invasion in check until we feel like bringing out the big shovels. I did a stint of digging a couple of weeks ago to transplant a section of this leafy tyrant to a plot by the mailbox.

This first recipe is a simple tabbouleh, which can be made with bulgur or couscous--both are good. Some people find tabbouleh bland. I keep it interesting by toasting the couscous/bulgur.

For even more flavor I use the deliciously crumbly Mira River Feta by The Wandering Shepherd, a Cape Breton artisan cheese maker best known for his terrific ewe milk cheeses. For this recipe, I'm also using Speerville Organic Couscous.

Serves 6-8


• 2 cups couscous • 4 cups water • 1 cup mint, chopped • 1 cup feta, crumbled • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped • 1 onion, chopped • 5 tablespoons olive oil • small bunch of chives, chopped • juice of half a lemon • salt + ground black pepper

In a small skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Set aside. In a large cast iron pot or skillet, toast the couscous on medium heat, stirring often, until most of it is browned. Meanwhile you can bring the water to a simmer. Remove from heat. Pour the hot water over the couscous, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in the sautéed onions, mint, feta, tomatoes, chives, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Eat hot or let it cool down. Top with chopped mint. Will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.