Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quinoa Tabbouleh

While trying to decide what to instantly stream on Netflix one night last week, Joe and I discovered that the first season of Glee was available. Like most of the television shows I enjoy, I usually get into something about the same time everyone else has grown tired of it. But people, how had I not watched Glee before now? I went to an arts boarding school. I was in show choir and musicals in high school and college. Joe played piano in the show choir band in high school. Why didn’t someone take me hostage and force me to watch it? I absolutely love this show because it reminds me of my musical glory days and all of the awkwardness of high school. It’s also light and comic, perfect for unwinding to at the end of a long day.


Like watching Glee, I know I should be eating more quinoa. It’s a great vegetarian protein source and surprisingly filling, but even though I have a big Costco-sized bag in my pantry, I always feel like quinoa is a little overrated. But when quinoa replaces another grain in a hearty salad like this one, I am tempted to sing its praises. And after a toasty weekend like we just had, something that doesn’t heat up the kitchen is a nice change too.

The red onion, even after soaking, can be a little powerful, so omit it or decrease it if you’re allium-averse. I also added the mint back in since I had some laying around. This is a refreshing dish and can be served cold or at room temperature making it perfect for upcoming picnics, cook-outs, or other outdoor get-togethers.


Quinoa Tabbouleh
source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles


1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
½ red onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced ⅛-inch thick
1 bunch parsley (about 2 cups), minced
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
8 ounces feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1. Rinse the quinoa well under cold water. Put it in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl to cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cover the diced onion and a pinch of salt with water. Let the onion soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

3. Drain the onions; add them to the bowl along with the garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and feta; stir to combine. Add the lemon juice and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and serve.