The classic Middle Eastern salad gets an of-the-moment upgrade with the “it” grain, quinoa. The tiny nutritional powerhouse is loaded with protein, making this dish both a delicious vegetarian main course and a summer-suitable side.
Tabouli (or Tabbouleh) is a delicious Middle Eastern parsley and mint salad that’s typically made with bulgar wheat or couscous. Parsley and mint make an amazing flavor combination, and paired with the rest of the ingredients here it’s really a fun dish to eat. Adding mint to savory dishes isn’t as common in North America so if you haven’t ever tried it I highly suggest it–you’ll be hooked.
Subbing out the bulgar for quinoa makes tabouli even more nutritious.Quinoa is a South American superfood that has been cultivated for thousands of years. Technically a seed, it’s often used like a grain in cooking because if it’s nutty, chewy texture and easy preparation.
What makes this gluten-free seed extra special is that it’s a complete protein, meaning that it contains all essential amino acids needed to build muscle. It’s also an excellent source of magnesium, iron and dietary fiber. It can be used in both savory and sweet dishes; I always tell people to give it a try and substitute it anywhere they would use rice or couscous.
INGREDIENTS: 4 ppl
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover remaining dressing and quinoa separately; chill.
Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.