Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh

At last, fresh summer tomatoes! Last week, we came home from the farmer's market with our bag full of them! As we set them out on the counter, we spied a jar of quinoa that hadn't gotten put away after dinner the night before. We looked at the tomatoes. We looked at the quinoa. And had an immediate craving for quinoa tabbouleh.

Quinoa is one of our favorite grains. It has a toasted flavor and slightly chewy texture that makes it great on its own or in a salad like this one. (Add a fried egg, and we have a very satisfying meal!)

Quinoa Tabbouleh
Makes about 7 cups, enough for 4-6 people

1 cup dry quinoa
1/2 red onion
2 medium tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley (about 2 cups)
1 bunch mint (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces feta
1/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
extra lemon juice to taste
salt to taste

Rinse the quinoa under cool water. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the quinoa is fluffy and chewy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, dice the half a red onion and put it in a bowl covered with water and a pinch of salt to soak. Cut the tomatoes in quarters and squeeze out the seeds. Dice the remaining tomato flesh into small pieces. Finely mince the garlic, parsley, and mint.

Empty the quinoa into a large bowl and allow it to cool almost to room temperature. This will help the vinaigrette coat everything without the quinoa absorbing too much of it. The quinoa should feel just barely warm to the touch. You can speed this process by spreading the quinoa into a thin layer and stirring it occasionally.

Once it has cooled, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and a healthy pinch of salt. Pour it over the quinoa and stir until the grains are evenly coated. Add the onions, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and mint, and stir to combine. Crumble the feta over the top and gently stir it in as well. Taste the salad and add more lemon juice or salt as desired.

Serve room temperature or cold. We find that the salad is even better the next day once the flavors have had a chance to mingle. Serve it on its own as a side dish or with wedges of pita bread as a light appetizer.

Related: Quick Tip: Try Mixing Grains!

(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)