Middle Eastern Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

4 Jun

Tabbouleh (or tabouli) is a Middle Eastern salad traditionally made with bulgur wheat, tomato and spring onion. Loads of finely chopped fresh parsley and mint are added then it is dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. It is so simple to make and has bags of flavour from the fresh herbs. The lemon juice lifts all the other flavours making it a refreshing, easy and delicious salad which can be served on its own,  as an accompaniment to grilled meat or fish or as part of a mezze.

This is one of my favourite lunch dishes. I vary the ingredients slightly every time according to what I have in the house. I’ve replaced the bulgur wheat with quinoa to keep it gluten-free but you could use couscous as well.

This time I added my Chermoula Seasoning and some harissa paste to the quinoa while it was cooking as well as throwing in some juicy raisins to plump up in the cooking liquid. Some flaked almonds on top give it some added texture but it is really all about the fresh herbs and lemon juice. Whatever you do don’t skimp on the herbs….

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

serves 3, vegan, gluten-free

  • 150 gr (1 cup) quinoa, rinsed in fine sieve
  • 450 ml (2 cups) veg stock
  • a handful of raisins
  • 1 tsp chermoula seasoning
  • 1 tsp harissa paste (optional) or a big pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small red onion or 2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 1 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon peel (or the zest of 1/2 a lemon)
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a large handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • a large handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • a handful of flaked almonds
  • salt & black pepper
  • small mint leaves for garnish

Put the rinsed quinoa, stock, raisins, chermoula seasoning, harissa paste, salt & pepper in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and you can see the curlicues in each grain. Leave to cool.

Stir through the chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumber and preserved lemon or zest. You can keep it in the fridge like this, in an airtight container until you are ready to serve it.

To serve, stir through the herbs, lemon juice and olive oil and taste for seasoning. Tip into a serving dish and top with some flaked almonds and extra mint leaves.


Things that made me smile today…..


Double Layer Hibiscus…

Tequila Sunrise anyone…?

Have a great weekend!!

9 Responses to “Middle Eastern Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad”

  1. Maris (In Good Taste) June 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Amazing photos! Healthy and delicious salad! Have a nice weekend!

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Such a great dish and so many ways to change it up as you mention. I usually make it with bulgur because I always have that on hand, but I like that you can make it gluten free if need be. I also like the almonds and other additions you make.

  3. thefooddoctor June 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    That has to be the best looking tabbouleh I have ever seen…love your variations to it 🙂
    That Hibiscus is breath taking..it made me smile too

  4. TasteFood June 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    I love tabbouleh, and never thought of substituting quinoa for the bulgur. Now I will!

  5. Erin June 5, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    What a great summer side dish. I like tabbouleh, but have never had it made like this. Sounds great!

  6. tony ward June 5, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    The tabbouleh sooooooo reminds me of summer evenings at Santiagos. The ‘frilly’ hibiscus evokes memories of the front terrace in Casa Del Rio……que memorias guapa ??? lol xx

  7. Caroline June 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    I love quinoa. This dish is so colorful and fresh looking. Aside from the cucumber, I like everything about this recipe. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

  8. Adriana June 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Your tabbouleh looks wonderful and I love the quinoa substitution. The next to last picture of the dish feels like you placed the bowl on top of some carefully arranged almonds… oh, the things I notice! The double layer hibiscus is gorgeous! I wish I had some to grow on my fence now.

  9. Mama J June 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I love quinoa tabbouleh but I haven’t tried it with almonds and the chili flakes. That would give it a really great kick!

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