To all the Lebanese restaurants I’ve loved before: a million thanks. Tabouli recipes can vary a bit from person to person and place to place. Which is how good cooking must always be. This one is made with quinoa not bulgur. And I think of it, at least in part, as a winter salad. Because sometimes, in the dead of our Canadian winters, we may not feel like making salads the way we would in the summer. And yet, we yearn for that sparkle. The sparkle of tabouli lasts for a week in the fridge.
¼ cup quinoa
½ cup water (or tiny bit more)
About 1/8 tsp salt
Bring all to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
1 big, beautiful bunch of fresh curly parsley
1 whole English cucumber
About ¼ to 1/3 medium-sized red onion
3 green onions
8-10 cherry tomatoes or other tomato
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tablespoon mild oil (sunflower, safflower, or olive oil)
1 teaspoon salt
Wash the parsley making sure there are no bits of sand hiding anywhere. Discard at least half of the stems and chop everything else fairly fine. Slice the cucumber into manageable slices and then chop into small pieces. Chop all other vegetables. It is not strictly necessary to have both red onion and green onion, but I like both.
Add cooled quinoa and toss well with the oil, lemon juice and salt. Taste for seasoning.
That’s it. If you like, add ground black pepper. Store in a good, sealed container in the fridge, and you have a sparkling taste of summer that is good for a week. Unless, of course, you are cooking for a crowd, in which case it’s done in a day. I like the flavour, the crunch, and the nutrition of quinoa. But bulgur (cracked, parboiled wheat) is traditional and also excellent of course. Either way, the grain should be cooked (or steamed in boiling water for the bulgur) but not to sogginess as it serves to keep the salad from becoming too wet.