I only recently discovered this Middle Eastern salad in the supermarket deli and have been experimenting with mixing my own. The traditional dish uses bulgur wheat; quinoa is a good gluten free alternative. If you want to bulk it up with more veg, you can add some finely diced raw peppers or cucumber as well. I’ve also seen chickpeas in it. The tahini isn’t a feature of the traditional recipe but I think it gives a yummy creaminess that compliments the zingy parsley. Neither is spinach, but having compared various recipes it seems to be a popular addition and one I’m happy to stick with.
50g (dried weight) quinoa or fine bulgur
A small handful of spinach
A large handful of parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
A small red onion
¼ cup golden raisins
1-2 tsp tahini, to taste
Cook the quinoa or bulgur according to packet instructions and set it aside to cool.
Chop the spinach and the parsley as finely as you can, removing as much stalk as possible.
Finely chop the onion and dice the tomato.
Mix the leaves, veg, and raisins together with the quinoa or bulgur.
Pour over the lemon juice, tahini and olive oil and stir into the salad. Add salt and pepper if you fancy, and you’re done!
This is great on its own, as a side dish, or as part of a salad bowl with hummus, avocado and anything else you can throw in. And of course, you can vary the ratios of ingredients as you wish- for a low carb lunch bowl, for example, I use less of the grains than if I’m serving it as a main course accompaniment to meat or fish (below).
I’d love to hear what you think and if there is anything else you like to put in your Tabbouleh!