gluten-free, salads, sides, pasta, grains, + noodles, vegetables

quinoa tabbouleh

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You know you're in Boulder, CO when:

1. You are driving home along Marshall Mesa* one fine evening from the grocery store and you notice a light bouncing along the ridge.   You look again and realize the light is the head lamp of an actual human running.  In the snow.  In the pitch black. Your car temp reads -12°.

2.  On that same ride home, you stop at the light and saddle up next to a commuter biker.  Your lovely seat warmer is cranking and your seemingly unfazed road-mate's beard is frozen with snot.  He pedals on into the night.

3. Your son comes home from school and tells you that he has volunteered you to make a quinoa tabbouleh for his science class as they are studying nutrition and are having a "healthy eating party" (there was a better name for it but you get the point)

Yes.  According to many polls,  I live in the healthiest, happiest, most educated, fittest town in the USA. AND the foodiest, if you trust Bon Appetite.  I will say one thing, beautiful Boulder is hard core in almost every sense.

You know, I used to get volunteered by my children to make things like brownies for the bake sale, pasta salad for staff luncheons, even latkes for Hanukkah parties (yes, cue the Polish-Italian girl to make the potato pancakes) but quinoa, that's a new one.  I do think, for what it's worth, that this is a very good thing.

This is more of a summer salad to have on hand in a large container in the fridge. Nothing wrong with eating now, though, and will actually serve as a welcome respite to all thing heavy and luxurious you may be consuming over the next couple of weeks.  It gets better over a couple of days and will keep for about four but by then the cucumbers will have gone mushy.  I like to add some crumbled feta and serve with grilled chicken.

quinoa tabbouleh

2 c quinoa

1/2 c onions, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

 1 c grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 cucumber, diced

1/2 c parsley, finely chopped 

1/2 c cilantro or mint, finely chopped

juice of 2 meyer lemons + zest

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Bring the quinoa to boil in 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan.

Turn to simmer, cover  and cook until all of the water has been absorbed.  Let quinoa cool in a large bowl.

Once the quinoa has come to room temp, drizzle with olive oil and give it a toss.  Start to season with salt and pepper, taste, and then add all of your vegetables and herbs.  

Finish with lemon juice and zest.  Toss again and adjust for acid, salt, oil, whatever you think it needs.  Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours.  Toss again and adjust seasonings.  The flavors are clean and multi-layed and will develop over a day or so.

*  This is gorgeous Marshall Mesa in the DAY before 30" of new snow.  Imagine running that ridge in the dark?  With nearly 3' of snow, 12 below??  Rock on stranger in the night.