This time of year has me craving fresh veggies and lighter meals. Even though tonight is supposed to be in the single digits, but I don't want to talk about that. I have found myself actually looking forward to salads. I mean, whoa! Perhaps it's the sound of the robins and starlings singing every morning at the top of their lungs. Or, perhaps its the crocuses blooming that I transplanted from my mother's garden last summer. Whatever the cause may be, I am ready for grilling and fresh veggies!
This quinoa tabbouleh is a compromise that meets my sudden needs about 3/4 of the way. Fresh tomatoes, cucs, and herbs come together with room temperature or chilled quinoa that has been tossed in a lemon/oil dressing. It's healthy, it's fast, and it makes great leftovers. I think it would even be great rolled up in a wrap. Or served with grilled chicken! You could even throw in some sliced avocado to make a well rounded, light dinner, or a filling, feel-good lunch!
Yield: about 4-6 servings
For the quinoa
4 cups water
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
For the dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Add the water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook 15 minutes, until the water is mostly absorbed. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, replace the cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. (Place in the refrigerator to hasten the cooling time.)
In the bowl with quinoa, add the chopped cucumber, tomatoes, green onion and parsley. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil for the dressing. Season generously with salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended, then pour over the salad in the large bowl. Stir everything together until well combined. Serve chilled or at room temperature.