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Minty Quinoa Tabbouleh

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Yields about 8 cups.

  • To learn more, read:
    Quinoa
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 74

Tabbouleh, a lemony Middle Eastern parsley and grain salad, is traditionally made with bulgur wheat. This version, fragrant from a touch of cumin and cinnamon, uses quinoa instead.

  • 1-1/2 cups quinoa
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups seeded and finely diced tomato (from about 1 large tomato)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from about 2 bunches)
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded, finely diced cucumber (from about 3/4 of a large cucumber)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more to taste
  • 6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint

Rinse the quinoa well in a bowl of cool water and drain. Bring the quinoa, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (The outer germ rings of the grain will remain chewy and white. Some germ rings may separate from the grains and will look like white squiggles.) Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn out onto a baking sheet to cool.

When cool, fluff the quinoa again and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomato, parsley, cucumber, scallion, oil, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss well. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors mingle, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Before serving, let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the mint. Taste and add more oil and lemon juice (you’ll probably need at least 1 tablespoon of each), and more salt as needed.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 1/2 cup; Calories (kcal): 130; Fat (g): fat g 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 13; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 110; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Loved this. I used more mint and cilantro instead of parsley.

Made it for dinner tonight and it was quite good. Will definitely make again.

I made this dish for a boat outing lasting all day in the FL heat. It held up beautifully and got rave reviews. I did add more mint and had extra lemons slice so they could adjust to there taste. It was nice for a change over the usual potato or macaroni salads. The quiona was just a tasty as the traditional cracked bulgar wheat.

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