Lemon-infused quinoa tabouli with fresh parsley & mint

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Recipes by Karen Gros | 0 comments

Lemon-infused quinoa tabouli with fresh parsley & mint

Quinoa must be thoroughly washed and rubbed to remove the saponins, which would otherwise impart an astringent after-taste. Roasting the quinoa prior to simmering it deepens the flavor, which is otherwise quite neutral. The slight sweetness of the orange juice further enhances the taste. I first ate tabouli at Jamil’s, a Lebanese restaurant in Tulsa, where I grew up. I still remember the thick chunks of barbecued bologna and cabbage rolls that always accompanied the tangy parsley-packed tabbouleh.

Recipe by Karen Gros.

Serves 6-8

Quinoa ingredients
1 cup white quinoa
¾ cup water
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1 large orange)
1 tablespoon freshly squeeze lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon fused extra virgin olive oil (Source:  Fresh Harvest)
1 teaspoon salt

Tabouli ingredients
2 cloves garlic
1 quart loosely packed parsley leaves
2 cups loosely packed mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon fused extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
¾ cup scallions, diced
Fleur de sel, optional, for garnish

  1. Wash the saponins off the quinoa by vigorously rubbing quinoa through several changes of water. Allow quinoa to soak for 10 minutes in fresh, cool water.
  2. Drain quinoa well, and sauté in a heavy-bottomed pan until dry; continue to dry roast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown (10-15 minutes, depending on the pot). When you begin to hear “popping”, keep a close eye on the quinoa; stir frequently until color deepens. Add the water, orange & lemon juices, lemon olive oil, along with the salt, to the quinoa; simmer on low, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir, scraping pan, if necessary; and allow to set, covered for 30 minutes undisturbed. Fluff with a fork.
  3. Place cooked quinoa in a thin metal bowl placed over a bowl of ice water to facilitate cooling. Quinoa must be completely cooled before mixing in the remaining ingredients. Meanwhile, process the garlic in the bowl of a food processor until finely minced. Add the parsley and mint leaves; pulse until finely chopped (do not over process, you do not want a paste). Combine the lime and lemon juices with the sea salt, and whisk to dissolve the salt; whisk in the lemon-fused olive oil.
  4. Using a large fork, toss the quinoa with the herbs and garlic. Add the tomatoes, scallions, and lemon-lime vinaigrette; toss well with the fork. Sprinkle the tabouli with fleur de sel, or other neutral-flavored sea salt. Serve as a first course on a bed of lettuce, or as a side dish to fish, chicken or other main dish, such as cabbage rolls.

qunioa tabouli