I recently bragged on Facebook about making tabbouleh and my friend Josh asked me for my recipe and I said, ‘Ohhhh it’ll be on the blog in less than a weeeeeek’ (first fail, I got busy) and then I realized he probably wants a for real tabbouleh recipe like the kind we had when the boyfriend and I visited him and his lovely lady Laura in Jacksonville, FL, at this great Middle Eastern restaurant where a belly dancer performed and we smoked a hookah and ate the most amazing food. So, second fail, because my tabbouleh recipe is not at all traditional. Traditionally, parsley dominates tabbouleh. There is more parsley than bulgur, and it’s damned tasty that way. Well, I didn’t have any bulgur, and I didn’t have enough parsley, so my recipe is more…reminiscent of tabbouleh. To satisfy Josh, here is a recipe that I deem to be satisfyingly traditional.
Mine looks nothing like it. For starters, I’m using quinoa as my grain. Not only because it’s what I had on hand (I may have had something that looked like bulgur, but I had failed to label it [third fail!], so I didn’t know for sure), but because it packs a protein punch that is great for light lunches. I absolutely love the flavor of mint in savory dishes, so tabbouleh is one of my most loved grain salads. And I’m gonna give you my (completely non-traditional) recipe.
2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
5 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mint, chopped
1 1/2 cups parsley, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt, to taste
Combine the quinoa (I rinse mine first) and the veggie broth in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat, partially cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally. While that’s going on, get to chopping your stuff up. It takes awhile to de-seed the cucumber and tomatoes, but make sure you do it, because you don’t want your tabbouleh to be too juicy. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then add the quinoa once it’s cool-ish (I never wait quite long enough, but you’re supposed to, so it doesn’t wilt everything). Mix mix mix, then taste for salt and lemon juice. It tastes approximately one million times better after it sits overnight, but it’s still tasty immediately. Traditional recipes also call for a lot of olive oil, but I find the quinoa to be wet enough that it’s not necessary. Still, add some if you like.
Pictured with the tabbouleh is some smokey maple baked tofu from World Vegan Feast. I loved it! The recipe was dirt simple (water, maple syrup, liquid smoke, maybe some soy sauce), low fat, and made some really fantastic tofu. I ate the rest of the tofu in sandwiches with a vegan mayo recipe from the same book for the rest of the week. Hoorah for making every single little thing from scratch! (Next time I make my own bread, eh?)
Local: tomatoes! endless tomatoes.