Tabbouleh, for anyone who’s tried it, is an amazing side dish or even a meal unto itself! It’s very cool and crisp, perfect for relaxing during warm, sunny evenings. Tabbouleh is a great recipe to try out different wild greens and other veggies, while still enjoying the fresh garden vegetables many of us are accustomed to.
The main ingredient in tabbouleh, traditionally, is bulgur, a product of different wheat cereals. We decided instead to use a wild semi-grain called amaranth. Amaranth leaves are powerfully nutritious green, but their seed heads are also wonderful and very similar to quinoa. Collecting the seed is very simple: bend the ripe (turning brown, from green) seed head inside a paper bag and shake! A single plant can produce thousands of tiny seeds. We’ve made this dish with both quinoa and amaranth, but you can easily omit one for the other.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
1 cup amaranth seed
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
2 tbsp lime juice
2 cloves minced garlic
Couple dashes of black pepper
1 large cucumber, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup mint
2 thinly diced scallions (or wild onion stems)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Boil the quinoa and/or amaranth with the salt in 1 cup water on high heat. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork, then set on a large sheet to cool.
Whisk the lime juice and garlic in a small bowl, then slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the amaranth and quinoa to a large bowl and mix in 1/4 cup of the olive oil dressing. Next add the cucumber, tomatoes, scallions and herbs. Toss together and season with salt and pepper. Finally, drizzle the remaining dressing on top.