Monday, July 13, 2009
My favorite part of most combination plates at Mediterranean restaurants is the tabouli. In case you don't swing the Mediterranean way, tabouli is a beautifully refreshing grain and herb salad. Traditionally the grain of choice is bulgur, which is healthful and delicious. Sometimes it's fun to mix it up a bit; and with a world of incredible whole grains out there, why wouldn't you? This is a quinoa-based tabouli recipe, and I can't claim not to be biased when I say that I prefer it to the traditional bulgur-based version. Quinoa is, after all, my favorite grain.
Everything else you know and love about tabouli is here - fresh parsley and mint, zesty lemon and spices, even cucumber, tomato and scallion. Feel free to add in toasted walnuts for an added layer of flavor and crunch. This is a great meal for a summer evening, since there is very little stove-work involved. Take advantage of the time that the grains are cooking to chop and prep the other ingredients.
Low maintenance, tasty and unique. This is another winner.
adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
2 scallions, finely minced
1 small or 1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 small lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small to medium tomato, diced
1. Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a small saucepan, add water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes untouched. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside. Fluff again periodically while it cools.
2. Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, combine the spices, herbs, and remaining ingredients (except tomato), stirring just to combine. When the grains have cooled to room temperature, add them to the bowl and stir well with a fork. Add the tomato and stir gently.
3. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with toasted pita bread if desired, or just eat plain as a salad.