Let me first say that I know and love authentic Middle Eastern Tabbouleh. Not the kind en vogue in North America which is mostly bulgur but the real Levantine kind; with roots in places like Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus. For just such a traditional tabbouleh recipe see this canonical Lebanese tabbouleh recipe written by Anissa Helou on David Lebovitz’ website. It is mostly greens and tomato with just a touch of bulgur. The one I have made below is a riff of traditional tabbouleh recipes. It uses chickpeas, sorrel, red pepper and quinoa instead of bulgur and plays with the proportions a bit. It is vegan and gluten free so it can be served to a wide range of guests. You can eat this as a side at dinner, as a meal at breakfast or lunch or more traditionally as part of a meze.

Tabbouleh with Fork

Sorrel, Chickpea, Red Pepper & Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe
Recipe type: side, salad, meze
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 6
I almost did not call this version ‘tabbouleh’ because it is not the traditional dish. But the spirit of it warranted the namesake. For best results make this dish one or two days ahead and store it in the fridge. I find letting the mixture sit, allows it to soak in the lemon juice, garlic, pepper and salt resulting in – as the taster says – ‘more yum’. Use fresh ingredients. I used firm organic greenhouse tomatoes, and fresh sorrel from the garden of the father of the taster. Finely dice the vegetables for this dish. Adjust the lemon juice, salt and the amount of quinoa to suit your taste. For a more traditional feel use 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa rather than 2/3.
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup sorrel shredded into thin ribbons
  • 1.5 cup cooked chickpeas (cut each in half)
  • 1.5 cups tomatoes (finely diced)
  • 2 cups Italian parsley finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 -2/3 cup organic quinoa
  • 5 green onions sliced
  • 1 cup red pepper diced
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • About 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup – 1 1/3 cup boiling water (the water should be in a ratio of 2 to 1 to the amount of quinoa you are using).
    1. Put water on the stove to boil.
    2. Once at a boil, add quinoa. Simmer for 15 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, mince, shred, dice or add the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Let it sit covered in the fridge.
    Tabbouleh ingredients before adding the quinoa

    Tabbouleh ingredients before adding the quinoa

    1. If you want to eat this dish right away, once the quinoa is cooked, cool the pot of quinoa by submerging it in a bowl of ice water. Then, put the pot in the freezer for two minutes.
    2. Add the cooled quinoa to the salad and mix well. Taste. Make sure to taste some with a piece of sorrel so that you can properly judge the correct amount of lemon juice to add. If appropriate add more lemon juice and salt. Alternatively, you can refrigerate for between 30 minutes – 48 hours to let the lemon juice and spices permeate the dish. Serve.
    Serving size: 1.5 cups Calories: 305 Fat: 10g Saturated fat: 2g : 43g Sugar: 8g Fiber: 12g Protein: 12g Cholesterol: 0
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    Quinoa Tabbouleh with Italian Parsley, Salt & Pepper Shaker

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