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Tabbouli (also known as tabouli or tabbouleh) is one of my FAVORITE salads. It is a parsley based Lebanese salad that is full of all healthy ingredients–tomatoes, onions, mint, and quinoa. It is finished with a lemony dressing with a not-so-secret ingredient that adds even more brightness, depth of flavor, and healthy fats. Get it, tabbouli!!
The first time I had tabbouli was in New York the summer before I started college. I was doing a four week intensive fashion design summer program at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. At the time, I wanted to go to fashion design school and was trying to build my portfolio. I had decided the best way to do that was to do this summer program at Pratt and to do a year at Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Though I ended up changing my college major many times and didn’t major in art, it was a summer to remember. As a young woman from Indiana, every day had a new adventure–this dish being one! I remember ordering it from a small falafel restaurant as a side to compliment my falafel and hummus platter. I loved it! It was my favorite thing I had in New York (second to pizza of course ;)).. When I came home, I researched tabbouli recipes until I found the one that seemed most accurate to what I had. I remember cooking it for my mom for the first time and she also loved it. It became a staple in our two-person household (so much so that she requested it recently when she came to visit my husband and I this past month!). My mom and I would eat it with grilled salmon, but in college I would make a big batch for myself with shredded chicken. Now my husband and I eat it with salmon, or with chicken kebabs, hummus, and romaine leaves (my favorite!).
Preparing the parsley can be tedious as you have to be sure to remove the tough stems from the leaves before you finely chop the leaves. Once that is done though, the rest of the prep is a breeze. You chop the onions, tomatoes, and mint; add the quinoa; and toss with the super simple vinaigrette. Don’t skimp out on the cinnamon though–that secret ingredient is key and really enhances the flavors!
Most recently, I had a friend over (hi, Abby!) and she tried this recipe. Her response was “OMG, yum!” Once again this recipe is a winner 🙂
Let me know what you think if you try this recipe!
I mean really, doesn’t that look so fresh and refreshing? I can’t get enough!
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 4 cups parsley finely chopped (about 3 bunches)
- 2 white onions diced
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt I use finely ground Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package directions
- Separate parsley leaves from rough stems. Remove stems. Rinse leaves thoroughly and dry (I use my salad spinner). Finely chop parsley and place in large bowl
- Dice the white onions, chop, tomatoes, and finely chop the fresh mint leaves. Place in bowl with parsley.
- Once quinoa is finished cooking, add to bowl with other ingredients. Toss to combine.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil until the ingredients come together.
- Drizzle all of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Enjoy!!
For traditional tabbouli, use 1/3 cup bulgar wheat instead of quinoa.