I few days ago, I had a fleeting memory of tabbouleh. I used to make it often and somehow it just got out of the rotation. But the memory triggered the brightness of the lemon, the crispness of the cucumber, the chewy texture of the grain.
Traditionally tabbouleh is make with bulghar wheat, of which I just happened to have on hand. But when I opened the container, well, it was a bit old. Having everything else on hand to make the salad and an overwhelming craving, I looked at other grains I have and what might be a suitable substitute. Quinoa!!!
An excellent substitute it is. The quinoa I have on hand is multi-colored (white, red, black) but any color will work. And when it comes to cucumbers, I almost always use the small pickling cucumbers (they're sweeter and crunchier) or a English (hothouse) cucumber. There were several recipes from which I took ingredients I prefer and made my own recipe. Vary amounts according to your tastes.
QUINOA TABBOULEH (4 servings)
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
salt to taste
1/4 cup EVOO
2-4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on how tart you like it)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 pickling cucumbers, partially peeled and diced
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
chopped fresh mint, to taste
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to taste
S&P to taste
In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, garlic, mint, and parsley. Stir in the cooled quinoa. Season to taste with S&P. Add more lemon juice if desired.