Vickie Reh is a chef and certified sommelier who has spent her life researching food and wine traditions. When not traveling, Vickie has spent years on both sides of the kitchen door alternating between roles as chef, wine director, wine consultant, and tour guide with stints in Washington, DC, at Buck's Fishing & Camping, Comet Ping Pong, Via Umbria, and Arrowine and Cheese.
Many of the harvesters at Domaine de Sulauze were vegetarians, and although neither Karina nor Guillaume, two employees at the winery, is vegetarian, healthy eating is of paramount importance to them. Not only is this fresh, bright salad delicious and refreshing, the substitution of quinoa for bulgur ups the protein content considerably — super helpful for hard-working vegetarians. You can play around with the proportions if you wish — some folks like a bit more mint and parsley — but this is how Karina made it.
Recipe: Quinoa Tabouleh
Yield: 2 quarts • Ease of Preparation: Moderate • Ease of Sourcing: Easy
Wine Pairing: Crisp Provençal white or rosé
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 cup diced red onion
2 cups peeled and diced cucumber
2 cups diced cherry tomatoes
1⁄2 cup mint, sliced in very thin strips 1⁄2 cup parsley, finely minced
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
1⁄4 cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
2 1⁄2 quart saucepan Large salad bowl
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Spread the quinoa on the baking sheet and toast it in the oven for 3 minutes. Toasting it enhances the nuttiness of the dish.
Place two cups water, the quinoa, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in the saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook covered between 10 to 15 minutes. The quinoa is done when it is still lightly al dente and rings form around the outside of each seed. Strain any excess water and set aside to cool.
Dice the onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The onion dices should be half the size of the cucumbers and tomatoes. I like to use cherry tomatoes, as I find they are less messy to cut. Mix the vegetables with the cooled quinoa in the large salad bowl. Add the herbs and stir. Add the lemon juice and the olive oil. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add more lemon juice or salt and pepper to suit your taste.
I like this salad at room temperature, but in heat of the summer you might want to chill it.
#1. Quinoa comes in different colors—white, red, and black are the most common. I like using red quinoa for this recipe because it makes the dish more colorful. Quinoa is a complete protein—meaning it contains all essential amino acids. Additionally, because it is a seed, not a grain, it is gluten free.
#2. Some brands of quinoa require rinsing. The brand I buy states you do not need to rinse it. I like to lightly toast my quinoa before cooking it. I find it enhances the nuttiness of the dish.