If you don’t consider yourself much of a salad person, summer is a great time to give them a second shot. After all, there are so many different types of salads out there, you are bound to find at least one you like. Why not start out with this Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa? Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad made with a base of parsley, and most often, bulgur wheat. Often times, here in North America, it’s actually mostly bulgur with a little bit of parsley. This one is more traditional in that it’s loaded with parsley, but totally untraditional in that it uses quinoa instead of bulgur. I prefer quinoa because I always have it around and I like it’s nutty flavor.
Unlike many other salads out there, don’t expect this one to stand on it’s own as a meal. Since it’s lacking in the protein department, it should really be used as more of a side dish. It’s especially great with other Mediterranean or Middle Eastern dishes like falafel, or chicken souvlaki, but it’s good with any grilled meat or sandwich.
This salad is beyond simple to make. All you have to do is roughly chop the parsley and mint, slice up the scallions and chop up the tomatoes. Then toss it all up with the quinoa, some lemon juice, olive oil and salt and cayenne and you’re done. It’s best if you can make it an hour or so in advance and let the flavors meld before serving it.
So let me talk about summer for a minute. This is that great time of year where it seems like there is always something fun going on – be it a camping trip, barbecue or festival. This weekend will be Art Fair on the Square here in Madison, similar to the Art Walk that happens in Edmonton. Then there will be county and state fairs, and each little village or town around seems to have it’s own fair/festival every summer. So much to do so little time! Never mind all the day trips and hikes we want to try to do this summer. Not that I’m complaining – having too much fun stuff to do is definitely a good thing! What are your favorite summer events in your area?
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (leftover is best)
- 2 bunches parsley, leaves minced (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- Add quinoa, parsley, tomatoes, scallions and mint to a large bowl. Pour lemon juice, olive oil, salt and cayenne evenly over. Toss to combine. Cover and let sit in the fridge for about an hour before serving. Will hold for 1-2 days in the fridge.