Here’s a simple, gluten-free, and, as it happens, wicked flexible take on the classic bulgur salad.
The first time I made this, I stayed pretty close to the classic tabbouleh mix – well, except for using quinoa in place of bulgur.
This time, I discovered that using white beans in stead of garbanzo, and dry-pack sun-dried tomatoes when I recalled I’d used the last of the fresh tomatoes still gives you a fine salad.
•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 can white beans, drained and rinsed
•1/2 English cucumber, sliced and quartered
•1/2 onion, sliced thin
•1 fresh garden tomato, diced (or several dry pack sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips)
•2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
•Scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
•Chopped fresh chive
Rinse and drain the quinoa well.
Add to your rice cooker with the water and seasoned salt, push ‘cook’, and come back when the timer dings. If you don’t have a rice cooker, follow the quinoa package directions for stove-top cooking, it’s not much more complicated. Fluff the quinoa in the cooker with a fork, then turn out into a large, shallow bowl or platter to cool.
While the quinoa is cooling, make the dressing by combining the lemon juice and the garlic together, then whisking in the olive oil.
Fun Lemon Juice Fact: did you know that you will get more juice out of a lemon if you cut it lengthwise? It must be true, I heard it on the radio! Actually, I tried it, and it did seem, to me, that I ended up with more than the normal amount of juice.
Back to the dressing: I didn’t bother with whisking, I just used my immersion blender to both mince the garlic and emulsify the dressing. Worked a treat.
OK, dressing made, quinoa cooled, we’re only a few hours away from a fine salad. Hey, I said it was simple, I never said anything about fast. Besides, most of the time is spent in chilling the salad, so, ermmm… chill.
Give your cooled quinoa another quick fluff with a fork, then toss with the drained and rinsed beans and half of the lemon and garlic dressing. Cover and stash in the fridge for an hour to chill.
Season the chilled quinoa with salt and pepper to taste, then add the remaining ingredients.
Drizzle with the rest of the lemon and garlic dressing, then give it all a good toss.
Re-cover the salad and pop it back into the fridge for at least another hour – though overnight is fine, there is nothing in this salad to get wilted.
Nice tabbouleh! Though I think I prefer the texture of garbanzos to the white beans – in truth, I wasn’t paying attention when I grabbed the can from the pantry and didn’t know I’d grabbed the white beans until I opened the can. Oops! Oh well, they still tasted fine in the salad.