I can almost hear her stupefaction. “Quinoa? And asparagus? In TABBOULEH?” (insert dramatic intonation). Oh yes, I dared. One of my nearest and dearest friends, Maroquine, is Lebanese. And more than anyone else I know, she knows good food. I hope she forgives me for adding a new twist to this classic Lebanese dish. I just had to, because I’m that stubborn.
Maroquine and I met nine years ago at our first job after University and a strong friendship emerged right off the bat. So much so that we call each other “sister”. Love of food and of long days spent in the kitchen are some of the many things we have in common. If it wasn’t for the 500 kilometres that separate us, we’d be cooking up a storm together every other weekend. Sweetie, I miss you.
Traditionally made with bulgur, tabbouleh gets a modern touch with quinoa in this recipe. Chopped (raw) asparagus adds a nice crunch which makes this salad so fresh, green and healthy.
Quinoa & Asparagus Tabbouleh
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 large bunches flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 lebanese cucumbers, diced
- 6 green onions, minced
- 2 fat garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 lemons, juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Black pepper, to taste
Wash the parsley and drain well.
Mince the parsley and mint very finely.
In a large mixing bowl, add cooked quinoa and chopped asparagus.
Add the minced parsley, mint, green onions and cucumbers.
Add the diced tomatoes, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and spices (allspice and nutmeg). Stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Savour this fresh and crunchy tabbouleh as a first course or a side dish.