Monday, December 22, 2008

Delicious Quinoa Tabouleh

This year my family decided to have a Middle Eastern evening for a more authentic Christmas experience. It was awesome. We all lounged around on blankets around the food, dressed in galabeas and robes. We enjoyed hot lentil soup, dates, almonds, grapes, boiled eggs, hummus with pita bread, and I volunteered to bring the tabouleh. Taboubeh (tab-oo-lee) is a very light and fresh tasting salad made traditionally with bulghar wheat. I chose to make it even lighter by using quinoa. (I love quinoa.) I made a huge batch- that fed 20 people generously, so I am going to cut it in half for this recipe.

Delicious Quinoa Tabouleh

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed in hot water
3 1/2 cups water
1 medium/small bunch parsley, finely chopped, stems discarded
2 tbsp fresh mint (or 1 1/2 tbsp dried)
1 medium-large cucumber seeded and chopped
(if you leave the peel on, wash it well- the peel is where the vitamins are!)
approx 1- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Sea salt to taste (about 2 tbsp)

Place water in rice cooker or pot. If in rice cooker, add quinoa and a little salt and set to cook. If in pot, bring salted water to boil, add quinoa, cover, turn to low heat and cook for approx 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.
Transfer cooked quinoa into a large bowl and let cool.
Once cool, add parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes and onion. Mix well. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and sea salt in a bowl or magic bullet and whisk or blend. Pour over quinoa and vegetables and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. Serve cold.
For presentation, I lined my serving bowl with romaine lettuce.

We had baklava for dessert... YUM!

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