Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quinoa Tabouleh Salad


Makes 6-8 Servings   Total Time: 45 mins
Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is well on its way to being dubbed supergrain of the millennium. High in fiber and a high-quality protein similar to that found in meat, this grain—a diet staple of the ancient Incas—cooks up like rice and has a mild flavor similar to couscous. Quinoa can be found in health-food stores and many supermarkets. 
This recipe uses quinoa instead of using bulgar like traditional tabouleh. This salad is perfect to summer - it's light, lemony, and refreshing. I like to serve tabouleh as a side to grilled meat and fish, or as a light vegetarian meal accompanied by pita bread and hummus. 
Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dry quinoa (to yield 3 cups cooked quinoa)
  • 1 bunch green onions (about 6), finely chopped
  • 4 cups minced curly parsley leaves (about 2 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and diced (3-4 medium)

Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water and drain well.  Place in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water.  
  2. Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12 minutes, or until a white ring is visible around each grain of quinoa, and the water in the pan has been absorbed.  If the quinoa looks cooked, but there is still moisture in the pan, uncover the pan and cook the quinoa over medium heat, stirring frequently for about a minute.  Set the quinoa aside, uncovered, to cool to room temperature.
  3. Whisk the lemon juice, garlic,and salt together in a large bowl.  Allow to sit while you chop the remaining ingredients.  The lemon juice will mellow the garlic as it sits.  
  4. Seed the tomatoes by quatering them, then using a paring knife to cut out the seeds. Dice the tomatoes into small pieces.
  5. Place the cooled quinoa, chopped green onion, parsley, mint, and tomatoes in the large bowl with the lemon-garlic mixture.  Drizzle in the olive oil, and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice to taste.
  6. Serve at room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator.   Flavor will improve in the fridge overnight.

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