Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Summer Salad Series Part 4 – Quinoa Tabbouleh with Cucumbers and Tomatoes

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Cucumbers and Tomatoes, part 4 in Summer Salad Series

If you’re not a fan of tabbouleh, the Middle Eastern salad centered around seasoned parsley, read on. This is the tabbouleh for people who hate tabbouleh… and for those who love it.

How do I know?

Hubby hates tabbouleh. And I mean with the “blech” before the “I hate tabbouleh.” He’s never been afraid to say so when it’s on a menu or I have brought home a container of pre-made from the market. So, I decided to create a version that I thought hubby would love. Or at least tolerate. The key was to change what caused so much palate distress. It was too much parsley. Done! I simply changed the proportion of parsley to grain. I also changed out the bulgur for quinoa, which made the salad light and fluffy and gluten free, as quinoa is technically a seed not a glutinous grain like bulgur. This is now a salad that everyone can enjoy.

The verdict? He ate two servings the first night and leftovers the next. But, the key was in my all-important question to him. “Should I make it again?” …

“Absolutely! I loved it!” Hence my opening statement that this is the tabbouleh for people who hate tabbouleh. If I can win over hubby, I can win over anyone.

Now, I’m of the “I love tabbouleh!” camp. The grassiness of a pile of garlicky lemon-tinged parsley is divine to my palate. Did the change in the proportion of parsley appeal to me?

Absolutely! I loved it, too! As well as the switch to quinoa. It was like having a carb-forward side dish as a opposed to an herbaceous one, which made it more filling. Almost like a pasta salad.

Chef’s notes:

  • I like the taste and mouth feel of Italian parsley better so I always choose that.
    Both curly and Italian parsleys work.
  • I chop the parsley, mint and garlic in a food processor until fine chopped but not a paste. Make sure not to over process to a pesto-like consistency. It should have some textural bite. You can also chop the herbs by hand.
  • Make sure that the quinoa is completely cooled before making the salad. You don’t want to “cook” the herbs and veggies.
  • I added fine chopped tomato and cucumber to add additional flavor and a bit of crunch. I prefer firm ripe cherry tomatoes for sweetness and Persian cucumber for crunch and flavor. Make sure to scoop the seeds form the tomatoes and cucumber to prevent a watery salad. I chopped the cucumber and tomato by hand to a small dice.

Whether you love or hate tabbouleh I do hope you’ll try it this version.

This recipe was the last in my four part series on Summer Salads. I hope you’ve enjoyed the chance to keep cool in your kitchen for a few weeks.

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Cucumbers and Tomatoes

1 very large bunch of Italian parsley (or 2 medium bunches)
1 dozen large mint leaves
1 large clove garlic, rough chopped
1 large or 2 medium Persian cucumbers, seeded and finely
12 cherry tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 T finely chopped green onion
2 cups cooked quinoa, completely cooled.
4 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil

Remove the leaves from the stems of the parsley. You should have 2 heaping cups. Put the parsley, mint and rough chopped garlic in the bowl of a food processor with the processing blade, and pulse until the herbs are chopped. Make sure not to create a paste.

In a large bowl combine the quinoa with the chopped herbs and chopped veggies. Toss to combine. In a small bowl, dissolve the salt into the lemon juice. This makes sure there are no clumps of salt in the salad. Add to the quinoa mixture and gently stir up. Drizzle in the olive oil and stir up. Taste for seasoning and acid. Adjust to your liking. You can serve immediately, let sit out for 30 minutes, or refrigerate and serve later. If you are not serving immediately, make sure to stir up again before plating. Keeps several days in the fridge.


Ingredient for Quino Tabbouleh with Cucumbers and Tomatoes Salad
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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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