Friday, September 27, 2013

Quinoa "Tabouleh"

This lovely salad is a riff on the Middle Eastern dish, tabouleh, which is traditionally made with bulgur, a cereal made from wheat groats. Instead of bulgur, I used quinoa in this recipe. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a seed that can be used like rice (or bulgur!).  Quinoa has been gaining in popularity because it is high in protein and quite tasty.  You can find white, black and red quinoa on most grocery store shelves these days.  I used red in this dish.  Looking for more quinoa recipes?  Check out these previous posts: Quinoa Pilaf and Quinoa, Red Pepper and Black Bean Salad.

Quinoa "Tabouleh"
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup fresh flat parsley leaves, chopped
3 celery ribs, 1/4 inch diced
3-4 green onions, 1/4 inch slices (include green parts!)
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (optional, but nice! I used dried cherries. Apricots or mangoes would also be nice)
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup roasted chopped almonds (unsalted)--walnuts, sunflower seeds or cashews would also work.

If it hasn't been pre-rinsed, then place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse with water for a minute or so.  In a sauce pan, combine water and quinoa with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until water is absorbed.  You'll know the quinoa is done when the white spiral-like germ of the seed becomes visible. Spoon into a bowl, fluff and let cool to room temperature.  When the quinoa is cool, add the parsley, celery, onions and dried fruit and toss to combine.  In a small bowl or jar, whisk (or shake) the lemon juice, oil, honey, salt & pepper until well-combined.  Pour over the quinoa and toss to combine.  Sprinkle top with nuts (or stir in if you prefer).  Makes about 8 servings as a side dish.

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