One of Guatemala’s blessings is our wonderful markets, filled with fresh local fruits and vegetables. Yesterday I went up to one of my favorite vendors, where I often buy basil and leafy greens. There was no basil on display, so I asked for it. The vendor pulled out a small paper bag: “Sí, hay.” She handed me a beautiful bunch of basil and said “También hay perejil”…”There is also parsley.” She handed me two gorgeous, fresh bunches of flat-leaf parsley.
I hadn’t though about parsley in months! My brain quickly went into planning mode: I have mint growing in the garden. Stop and get some tomatoes and cucumber. In my mind, I could already see the tabbouleh prepared for lunch.
While bulgur wheat can be found in specialty stores here, it’s not a common ingredient. I knew I had quinoa, however, and a new version of my favorite tabbouleh was born. If you prefer bulgur to quinoa, no problem! Use 1 cup of dried bulgur instead of 1 cup of dried quinoa.
Most tabbouleh recipes call for olive oil. I don’t add oil to mine–just some lemon or lime juice for moisture. Instead of oil, sliced avocado adds a whole-food source of richness.
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup parsley leaves fresh, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup mint leaves chopped
- 2 large tomatoes seeded and chopped
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 large cucumber peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- avocado slices optional
- In a large saucepan, mix the quinoa and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and allow the quinoa to simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir gently, and allow to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- In a large bowl, stir together the parsley, mint, chopped tomatoes, diced onion, diced cucumber, and lemon or lime juice.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more lemon juice if needed.
- When the quinoa is cooled, gently stir it into the mixture in the bowl.
- Refrigerate for an hour to allow the flavors to blend if possible.
- Serve garnished with sliced avocado, if desired.
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