Tabbouleh is a staple of Middle Eastern food. And while Bulgur is an ok grain, that’s about as much as it does for me. How about for you? I just can’t find it that exciting.
In fact, I’ll admit, it’s hard for me to get excited about salads in general. Sure, I can get excited about all the healthy stuff you’re eating when eating a salad, but beyond that it’s a bit of a stretch. This salad, however, is different.
First, the benefits. Mix up your tabbouleh with quinoa, which is loaded with health benefits, and mint and parsley, which are good for you too, and you have a power packed salad right off the bat. Plus fresh tomatoes, lemon juice, and olive oil, and there’s not one thing wrong I can find here.
Almost too good to be true? Nope.
This is a mix up of recipes, with no one central source of inspiration. However, I did use some spices from Paula Wolfert’s groundbreaking book on Middle Eastern cooking. I thought it sounded really strange at first. Cinnamon? Allspice? And red pepper flakes? Really?
I was so unconvinced, I even had to prepare it first without these flavors, then set aside a small bowl and add them in.
And wow, I was impressed. These flavors bring this tabbouleh from just good up to something that really is exciting. The red pepper flakes hit you here and there with a POW of flavor. The cinnamon compliments the mint and parsley nicely, and the allspice works well with the nuttiness of the quinoa and helps the tomato flavor POP!
So try it out, and let me know what you think in the comments.
- 1 cup quinoa uncooked
- 1 English cucumber quartered lengthwise then cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley 2 bunches
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup spring onions thinly sliced crosswise
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil, cover and simmer gently 10-12 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from heat and spread out on a sheet pan to cool.
- Combine quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint, spring onions, lemon juice, olive oil and spices and mix well. Allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.