After a week of indulging during conference in California, I was looking for a simple “detox” dish that could get me back to eating right. So I turned to one of my summer favourites: taboulé. Also known here as tabbouleh, this bulgur-based salad is a staple in the Middle East, particularly in Lebanon where it typically features parsley as the main ingredient. My Moroccan grandmother used to make it all the time, but using mint instead of parsley and my own version of taboulé uses both herbs in almost equal measures, as well as quinoa for an American twist on the middle eastern classic. Also, because quinoa is loaded with protein, this version makes for a more nutritional option so that the dish can be a full meal, rather than just an appetizer. Here’s my tried-and-tested taboulé recipe.
Half a cup of quinoa, cooked
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered (you can also use 2 regular tomatoes finely diced)
1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (about 1 bunch)
1/2 cup chopped mint mint
Seasoning: juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper
Optional: 1 Persian cucumber, thinly diced and 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
The first step is cooking the quinoa (here’s how to make perfectly fluffy quinoa) then letting it cool down. Tossing it into a ziplock and into the freezer for 10 minutes will do the trick.
While the quinoa chills, chop all of the other ingredients: tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion and if using, cucumber and scallions. Toss to coat all of these ingredients together in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. When you’re ready to eat, just drizzle the olive oil, lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. The salad should feed 5-6 people.