I’m always looking for interesting ways to add whole grains to my diet, and for filling dishes that feature raw vegetables. I love make-ahead meals for their ease and simplicity. And light lunches I can eat straight out of my fridge are the absolute best. I’ve been cooking big batches of grains lately, adding them to different meals throughout the week. When I finally realized that I could make tabbouleh with quinoa, I knew it would make it into my regular lunch rotation.
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern herb salad, traditionally made with parsley, mint, tomatoes, onions, and cooked bulgur wheat, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. This version goes a little lighter on the herbs, skips the mint, adds in cucumber, and replaces bulgur with quinoa. Perhaps inauthentic, but delicious nonetheless. It’s still a parsley-heavy grain salad, and makes for a light summertime meal.
It’s hard for me to say “no” to any meal that involves fresh, bright summer vegetables.
We begin with a bowl of cold cooked quinoa. You can find a step-by-step on preparing quinoa here.
Add heaps of chopped parsley.
Cucumber and tomato go in the bowl.
Along with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon.
Freshly cracked black pepper is best.
Toss until thoroughly combined, and serve.
You can serve it immediately, or chill for a few hours. I like this tabbouleh best the next day, after the flavors have had a little time to meld.
- 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked, drained and cooled
- 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped (about 3-4 cups chopped)
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 small red onion, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Add the cooled quinoa to a large mixing bowl or container. Add the parsley, cucumber, tomato and onion. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of black pepper and salt. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the bowl, holding back any seeds. Drizzle in the olive oil.
- Toss the tabbouleh together. Season to taste with the remaining black pepper and salt. Add more lemon juice if needed. Chill before serving, and store leftovers in a closed container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
I sometimes prefer to make my tabbouleh without red onion, but feel free to include it if you wish. There is no need to peel the cucumbers, but do remove the wet seeds from the tomato. Leftovers store very well, and a doubled or tripled recipe can be eaten for lunch all week.