From Flavors of the Sun: Quinoa Tabbouleh with Chickpeas
This recipe is ideal for hot weather -- refreshing, filling, texturally interesting. I’ve upgraded this beloved herb-packed salad from side to main event by adding chickpeas and cubes of salty feta, making it a completely satisfying vegetarian entrée. Quinoa is a more delicate and nutty-tasting alternative to the traditional bulgur wheat, and also delivers more protein. Add bits of grilled chicken or lamb for a truly all-in-one summer lunch or supper. This holds extremely well for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
1/2 cup [120 ml] plus 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 cups [270 g] quinoa
2 cups [320 g] grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
2 Persian cucumbers, finely diced
3 cups [120 g] finely chopped fresh parsley, packed, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups [60 g] finely chopped fresh mint, packed, plus more for garnish
1 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
1/2 cup [120 ml] fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Aleppo pepper, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup [160 g] cooked chickpeas
6 oz [170 g] Greek feta cheese, diced
In a large saucepan, heat the 2 Tbsp of oil until hot. Add the quinoa and toast over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 2 cups [480 ml] of water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Spread the quinoa on a rimmed baking sheet to cool completely.
Scrape the cooled quinoa into a large bowl and add the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, and scallions.
Toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, remaining 1⁄2 cup [120 ml] of oil, Aleppo pepper, sumac, salt, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, mixing gently but thoroughly. Fold in the chickpeas and feta. Serve chilled or at room temperature, sprinkled with additional parsley, mint, and Aleppo pepper.