Tabouli is a fresh herb salad usually made with bulgur wheat. Here I make it with quinoa, a protein-rich seed that "pops" when you bite into it. Quinoa gives this side dish a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. You can also add a few pieces of leftover chicken or pork to turn tabouli into a meal. It also works well as a vegetarian main dish. Tabouli is hearty enough to stand up to rich meats, but the herbs and lemon juice give it a freshness that pairs well with fish and poultry, too. Whether you make it for dinner, a picnic, or a brown-bag lunch, this make-ahead-friendly recipe hits a lot of notes.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 ripe tomatoes, halved, seeded,and finely chopped
- 3 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and finely chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve. Turn it out into a large microwave-safe bowl and add the water. Cover and microwave on high for 9 minutes. Set aside for 2 minutes and then carefully uncover and fluff with a fork. The quinoa should have a tender snap when you bite it - if it doesn't, cover and microwave for up to 1 minute longer.
Stir the parsley, cilantro, mint, tomatoes, and scallions into the quinoa. Whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to make a vinaigrette and pour it over the quinoa. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour for the flavors to combine before serving.