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Quinoa Tabbouleh (Recipe)

by Wendy on November 18, 2013

Here’s a recipe that’s close to my heart.  My friend and colleague, Chef Dean Rucker developed this recipe for spa guests.  I make it almost every week.  I often substitute the grain.  Quinoa is an ancient grain – rich in nutrients including phyto (plant) nutrients, protein (8 grams per 1/4 cup dry!), fiber and other nutrients.  I also make this recipe with freekah and farro.  It’s just freekah-farro-fun!

Recipe tip: Don’t skip the rinsing step with quinoa.  It removes what are called ‘saponins’ – a plant nutrient that gives the grain a bitter or ‘soapy’ aftertaste to some people.  Rinsing your quinoa removes these and leaves just the delicious nutty qualities and wonderful nutrients.

Another note: you’ll see many packages recommend using 2 cups water (or liquid) to 1 cup quinoa in a classic 2:1 ratio.  Chef Dean taught me that 1-1/4 cups is just perfect if you want to make a tabbouleh or more al dente style quinoa.  It’s delicious!

And of course. . . how to serve:  delicious as a side, a snack, paired with hummus (that makes a complete vegetarian protein and meal), beneath or beside fish or chicken. This is a hit to bring to potlucks and send to school or bring to work. Warm, room temperature or cold, anything goes!

Reprinted with permission from The Golden Door Cooks at Home by Chef Dean Rucker (Clarkson Potter Publishers)

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes for the quinoa to cook and rest

Total Time: 30 minutes (plus time to cool) 


  • Quinoa tabbouleh and hummus 800 pxl 72 dpi1 cup quinoa
  • 1 medium ripe, red tomato, seeded and diced (1 cup)
  • 1 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the tabbouleh: Place the quinoa in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Use your hand to swish the quinoa around a few times. Drain and repeat until the water in the bowl is clear you may need to do this several times. Drain well. In a medium pot, combine the quinoa with 1 1/4 cups of water. Bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes to steam and finish cooking. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

Add the tomato to the bowl with the cooled quinoa. Add the parsley, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and stir gently until well combined. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator. (The tabbouleh will keep for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.)

Image about quinoa tabbouleh and hummus | Bazilian




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