Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa

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This simple side dish was inspired by an abundance of parsley and mint in my garden. Whenever my parsley starts overtaking the pot, I immediately think of quinoa salad.

Tabbouleh Quinoa Salad
Tabbouleh Quinoa Salad

I hope that the following confession does not come as a surprise to you (and be a reason for you to never visit this blog again) but I am not a hip nor a happening foodie. I don’t keep up with trends, I eat what I like and what I want (in moderation). I boringly end up at the same restaurants 90% of the time (I’m looking at you Din Tai Fung and Papparoti).

So while everyone seems to have moved on to freekah and chia seeds (that word makes me sing the ch-ch-ch-chia pet jingle), I’m still stuck on quinoa. In fact, I have a small bag of it in my cupboard for years that I’m still trying to get through. It seems like the never ending bag of quinoa as a little goes such a long way.

What is Quinoa and Why Cook With It?

In case you’ve been living under a rock (like I do sometimes) and don’t know what is quinoa, it is seed (although oftentimes it is erroneously labeled as a “grain”) that is gluten-free, nutrient rich (high in iron, magnesium, and fiber), complete in all the essential amino acids, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Quinoa is cooked just like rice using 1 part grain and 2 parts water and then simmered for 15-20 minutes. It expands to about three times it’s size when cooked as it absorbs all the cooking moisture. Use it where you would normally use rice, pasta, barley or couscous. Cooked quinoa seeds are fluffy, translucent, slightly crunchy with a delicate nutty flavor.

Researchers date the popularity of quinoa to approximately 3000 BC, when its consumption became widespread in the Andes mountains of South America.

You can read more about quinoa here and here.

Tabbouleh Quinoa Salad
Tabbouleh Quinoa Salad

Since moving to the Middle East, I’ve fallen in love with the salads here – especially tabbouleh (or is it tabbouleh with one b?). We really enjoy using quinoa in salads and this modified tabbouleh salad with quinoa is one of our family favorites. The quinoa has a softer texture than the more traditionally used bulgar.

I love using anything from my garden – so here I harvested fresh parsley and mint – and I throw in whatever extra veg is in my fridge – sometimes avocado, sometimes yellow pepper.

Enjoy!

Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa

Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa

Course: Salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Ginger and Scotch
A healthy and light Middle Eastern-inspired salad using quinoa (a superfood!) instead of bulgur.
Print Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup (~40 g) Quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 bunches of Parsley
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 1 bunch of Scallions or 1 small red onion , diced
  • 1 large tomato , diced (or 1 box ~250g, cherry tomatoes, halved)
  • 1 cucumber , diced

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons exta virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt & Pepper , to taste

Optional

  • 1/2 avocado , diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper , diced

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  • Rinse parsley and mint if needed and chop finely by hand or in a food processor
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley and mint with the remaining vegetables/fruit.
  • Make the dressing by whisking together lemon, oil and honey. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour dressing over salad and mix well.

 

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Recipe Rating




25 Comments

  1. I’ve been trying to grow parsley and mint at home and while my parsley pot has died my mint pot is still going! So I’m sort of in luck with this salad lol! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I love quinoa, so this salad looks amazing! Those flavors and veggies all scream summer to me. Can’t wait to give this one a try!

  3. I don’t cook with quinoa often enough. Your recipe is perfect to get your veggies and healthy grains in. Yum.

  4. I’ve never had tabbouleh before, let alone tried to make it. Sounds pretty easy though, and I love quinoa!

  5. I am a HUGE tabouleh fan but have never had it with quinoa! I have no idea why. Like you I don’t keep up with the trends. I have an unoppened bag of quinoa somewhere…it’s about time I used it!

  6. I love the idea of tabbouleh with quinoa instead of bulghur or something similar. Thanks for sharing.

      1. I only started using quinoa recently and find that it is wonderful in salads… I have used bulgur but prefer the slight crunch from the quinoa 🙂

  7. This sounds delicious, and a great healthy and filling dish! I am personally a big fan of cous cous, no matter if its not in trend! ha!