Fresh Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouhle is something Armenians have been making for a long time! My mom truly makes one of the best; but I also do know it takes forever to make and it looked way too complicated. But I did learn one thing, every solid ingredient needs to be chopped up as much as possible to the smallest size so that each bite has all the ingredients in there....this is why it would take so long. You can take the original tabbouleh and put it on a crunchy romaine lettuce and eat it “lettuce wrap” style.

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With that said, I have a more modern (aka. easier) approach to this salad. Instead of traditional bulgur, which can be very bloating, use quinoa. I also don’t chop it up as small as she does because, well, who has time for that? I’ve been making this salad for a long time and all my guests seem to love it; so, I keep making it. In all honesty, it’s a delicious, healthy salad and easy to make with minimal ingredients! Scroll below for the ingredients and direction.

Ingredients:

Makes 4-6 servings.

3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes 
1/2 cup chopped curly parsley
1/2 cup chopped cucumber

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint (optional)

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Directions:

You will need curly parsley. You can use regular parsley as well but it won’t be as crunchy. Wash and leave aside to drain.

I used red quinoa, but you can use any color. I just love that the red adds some color to the salad. Wash & set aside to drain. Cook it in water with a pinch of salt. Once the quinoa is cooked, leave it closed for 5 minutes, then open and set aside to cool off. I usually put it in the fridge to make the cooling process quicker.

You will need cherry tomatoes. I used heirloom cherry tomatoes but regular cherry tomatoes work as well. Try not to use the big tomatoes as that has a lot of water/juice and will make your salad soggy. Cut them in half or if they’re still really big, quarters.

You will need some crispy cucumbers. Peel the cucumbers and cut them in half and chop them up. If the cucumbers are big, chop them in quarters.

Put all your ingredients together (minus the quinoa) and set aside. 

Season your olive oil with salt, lemon, cumin and a pinch of cinnamon. Whip your ingredients until it thickens and blends out. Toss the salad with your ingredients before you add the quinoa.

Once your quinoa is cool enough, toss it with the salad and viola! Ready to serve.