I am very pleased with this dish. I like tabbouleh, but it is usually made with cous cous, which I cannot eat. Quinoa agrees with me very well and it is a very successful substitution. In addition to taking all kinds of seasonings very well, quinoa is really, really nutricious and probably the easiest grain to prepare.
I made the following recipe up to suit my tastes. It is pretty heavy on the herbal and lemony flavours. Feel free to adjust it to suite yourself! If you are someone, like me, who likes an excuse to purchase unusual spices I encourage you to get your hands on some ground dried Persian lime. It has a really lovely tart flavour that I love in this Tabbouleh. Sumac is another unusual sour seasoning that is fun to play with in this recipe. If the idea of tracking down Persian lime or sumac stresses you out, don’t bother! Just add more lemon juice for sourness if you like! I got my Persian lime from Kalustyan’s and my Sumac from Sahadi’s.
- 1 cup raw quinoa
- 1 and 1/4 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups fresh mint leaves, rinsed
- 1 cup fresh flat parsley leaves, rinsed
- 3 scallions
- 4 small or 2 large fresh tomatoes (about 8 ounces)
- lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons dried ground persian lime or sumac (or just add more lemon juice)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
- 8 oz feta cheese crumbled on top (optional)
- Soak the quinoa in water for about half an hour.
- Rinse the quinoa in several changes of water and drain it in a fine sieve or colander lined with a tea towel. Combine the quinoa and 1 and 1/4 cup water in a sauce pan over high heat. When it boils, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and let the quinoa cook for 30 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, you can prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Mince the garlic, mint, parsley and scallions very fine.
- Dice the tomatoes.
- Combine the tomatoes and minced herbs with the lemon juice and ground dried Persian Lime or Sumac and salt in a large bowl.
- When the quinoa has cooked for half an hour, remove it from the heat but leave the lid on for another five minutes. After five minutes allow the quinoa to cool. You can speed this process by spreading it out on a cookie sheet if you are in a hurry.
- Combine the cooled quinoa with the prepared herbs and seasonings. Taste it and adjust the seasonings. Serve with crumbled feta if you like!