While Middle-eastern restaurants are a great choice for eating gluten-free (and vegetarian), one thing you can’t order is tabouli (also spelled tabouleh), as it’s made from bulgar wheat. I had a bunch of parsley to use up, so I decided to try making it with quinoa instead. It was absolutely delicious!
Since quinoa is actually a seed, it is high in protein, making this a complete meal if you like. If you buy boxed, commercially produced quinoa you only need to rinse it lightly. It has already been pre-rinsed to remove the bitter coating.
The renovation: The original recipe comes from my old favorite, Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. I swapped in quinoa for the bulgar wheat, replaced dried mint with fresh mint, and reduced the olive oil by half.
6-8 servings (as a side)
1 C. dry quinoa
2 C. water or vegetable stock
1½ t. sea salt (omit for low-sodium diets)
¼ C. fresh lemon juice
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic
½ C. chopped scallions
3-4 sprigs fresh mint
2 medium or 1 large heirloom tomato
1 C. packed fresh parsley (one bunch)
Put the quinoa in a saucepan with the water or stock and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and then turn down the heat. Cook on a low simmer for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steam for at least 5 minutes more. Fluff with a fork.
Finely chop one bunch of parsley. You can use the stems, just make sure you cut up everything very finely and uniformly. Finely chop the mint leaves. Place in a large bowl. Chop the tomatoes into medium-sized pieces. Finely slice the scallions (whites and greens) and add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Add the quinoa and toss evenly.
Finely mince or press the garlic and place in a bowl or measuring cup deep enough to whisk in. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Whisk until it emulsifies (thickens up). Pour over the salad and toss until evenly coated. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You can serve at once or place in the refrigerator for several hours for the flavors to meld.