Friday, March 30, 2018

Green Quinoa Tabbouleh – Going Against the Grain

Like I said in the intro, I’ve never been a huge fan of quinoa, or tabbouleh, but for some reason absolutely love this green quinoa tabbouleh. Maybe it’s the size of the grain, which is actually a seed, or the less wheaty flavor, but for me this vibrant, bracing salad is significantly better with quinoa instead of the traditional bulgur wheat.

Whether you do this with quinoa or bulgur, I recommend keeping the salad relatively simple, and then using it as a base for other composed salads. Of course, you can mix in diced tomato, cucumber, and chopped green onions the same time you add your herbs, but then you’re sort of stuck with that exact salad.

I prefer to make this as shown, and then add my garnishes when I serve it. That way I can have it as described above one day, and then the next day, enjoy a completely different salad, with new accessories like diced grilled chicken, zucchini, and feta, just to give you an idea off the top my head.

Regardless of how you jazz this up, we’re heading straight into the middle of grilling season, and for me, this is one of the all-time great cold side dishes, since it pairs so perfectly with all those highly-seasoned, smoky meats. So, for those reasons and more, I really do hope you give this green quinoa tabbouleh a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions:
2 large bunches curly parsley
1 large bunch mint
1 bunch tarragon
6 cups of boiling water
2 cups rinsed white quinoa
salt as needed to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne taste
2 or 3 garlic cloves
2 or 3 whole lemons, plus more to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed


Nate said...

Chef John, glad to see you've found a quinoa recipe you like! thought I'd share mine with you, so maybe you'll have more in your recipe book:

1 cup of quinoa
1 can of sweet corn, drained (can use fresh cut off cob too, I'm lazy)
1 can of black beans, drained
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder or ~2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
fresh black pepper
*bunch of cilantro, chopped
*1-2 cups diced tomato, possibly also simmered in their own juices to make a simple sauce
*lime juice, 1-2 limes
*oregano, to taste

First in a medium pot, fry the onion in the olive oil until soft and golden, or brown if you have the time. In the same pot, add the rinsed quinoa and the amount of water or broth recommended on the box/bag, appx 2 cups. Add the dry spices at this time. Bring to simmer, cover with a tight lid, and cook the quinoa for 15-20 minutes or until tender and all liquid has been absorbed. Leave off heat for a couple minutes to steam. Mix in corn and beans. Heat up a little bit longer, ~2 min, on the stove. Now for the variables: my wife gets really bored of this since I make it all the time so I vary the last starred * ingredients so she doesn't complain as much. I really use any combination of them, often omitting one or two. It's best with a little of everything, but it's also great without any of them. And of course add more dry spices to taste.

Wayne Gordon said...

I really like the idea of having the ability to change this up with supplemental ingredients
as suggested. You can then be the Vasco Balboa of your quinoa!

Unknown said...

Hi chef John. Long time viewer, first-time poster ... love the Blog. :) I know I'm late to the cooking . . . 2012? . . but I am a quick study. I am going to make your Swedish meatballs and the Genovese meat sauce recipes today. . . anyway, I wanted to comment . . Thank you for sharing!!!! :D

Unknown said...

I made this yesterday and it IS AMAZING!!!! With an Armenian Mom I grew up with LOTS of tabbouleh and while this is a little different in texture, I think it's much better. I didn't have curly parsley, but used curly kale, flat leaf parsley, mint and arugula from the garden instead. The tarragon was something I'd never used in tabbouleh, and it was the BEST. It adds this herby something that you can't quite put your finger on. Perfect! The dressing is the real key: using some blanched greens with the lemon, garlic and oil gives it a depth and wonderful creaminess. Thanks Chef John...I can't wait for lunch!

The Horans said...

Another winner!

Jessica Wetterer said...

I made this recipe last night for a dinner party and it. was. SO. delicious. I had 10 people to feed so I doubled the recipe, which worked out well as most of it was eaten but I still had some leftovers to enjoy. I served it with some lemon chicken on top and balsamic roasted tomatoes over yogurt on the side for a middle eastern-esque meal. All of my guests were raving that this was the best quinoa dish they'd ever tried. Thanks Chef John!

Ratty said...

Made this. I misread the instructions and added 2 bunches of mint and tarragon. Very very minty. Also had a major blender disaster. Despite all of that I LOVED it. I'll be making this again and again. Thanks again Chef John! PS. I subscribe to a lot of cooking channels on YouTube but yours is the only one where I try almost everything you put up. I wonder why.

nutritatva said...


Spoony Bard said...

This recipe is really great, I just made it a second time because it kept a whole week in the fridge last time and I enjoyed it all week!

This time, however I used half farro and half quinoa because i love farro. It was really good on farro as well! I topped with diced radish, cucumber, onion, sweet pepper, capers, and purslane I foraged and the salad was phenomenal!

Unknown said...

Had this dish all over the world, but made it home according to your recipe and can say this with confidence - You are absolutely THE BEST!
Nothing to add.