No, I cannot find a record of Julia making quinoa tabbouleh – or regular tabbouleh, for that matter – but back in the day, when I was discovering the joys that could be French cooking along with Julia on the local PBS station, I was also learning the joy that could be a perfectly prepared bowl of tabbouleh from The People’s Market at UMASS. I would have to say lunch was a toss up – tabbouleh from People’s, or a Ham Salad sammich (on white) from The Hatch.
Mmmm, ham salad. I still have not perfected that recipe from back in the day, tho’ this one comes close; but a chance encounter with a quinoa-based tabbouleh at Zed 451 – a steak house – put me in mind of searching out a recipe. The quinoa is a very nice, and easy to prepare, alternative to the more usual bulgur, but the revelation (well, to me) is the very restrained use of mint in the salad. Practically Perfect in Every Way. Check it out.
•1 cup quinoa
•2 cups water
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
•1 clove garlic, minced
•1/2 cup good olive oil
•1/2 English cucumber, sliced and quartered
•1/2 onion, sliced thin
•1 fresh garden tomato, diced
•2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
•Scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
•Chopped fresh chive
Rinse and drain your quinoa well, then add to a rice cooker with the water and the seasoned salt, hit ‘cook’, and let it do its thing until the cooker clicks off; then allow to rest for ten minutes, fluff with a fork, and turn out into a large platter to cool. OR, cook according to package directions on the stove top or in the ‘wave, then fluff and cool.
Now, for the dressing.
Combine the lemon juice and the garlic together with a little bit of the olive oil in an immersion blender, then, while whizzing well, slowly stream in the rest of the olive oil until well and truly blended. OR, just whisk the lemon juice and garlic together, then, still whisking like mad, stream in the olive oil until all is well and truly blended.
Toss the cooled quinoa with about 1/4 cup of the lemon and garlic dressing, then cover and pop into the fridge for an hour or two.
Season the dressed quinoa with salt and pepper (I used both Tellicherry and Aleppo) to taste and toss again, then add the tomato, onion, cucumber, parsley, mint, chive, and the remaining dressing, toss again, and stash back in the fridge for an hour or so.
Great tabbouleh, and one, fine dinner!
I could almost be 20 again, with a full head of hair, a crappy ’71 AMC Hornet and a design project due… But, no, I think this is even better than than that tabbouleh of old. And my now beat-up 2000 Volvo totally rocks over the old (and famously unreliable) Hornet.
Toss some 70’s rock on your turntable, open a nice bottle of chablis, and give a toast to Julia Child, and to this quite nice little salad.