Hopefully by clicking on this recipe you acknowledge that this is not a traditional recipe. I love the original, but I want to share my wonderfully simple (family friendly) version of tabbouleh. It’s quick, uses quick cooking quinoa instead of cracked wheat and of course is really tasty. I like to make the Parsley the hero of this fish. It’s a very nutritious herb, high in flavonoids (antioxidant and inflammatory), vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, potassium and even iron and calcium. Using a sprig here and there isn’t enough to reap the benefits, so grab a big bunch and make it the star. If you’re not a big enough fan of parsley for the quantity used, use half parsley and half another chopped leafy green, like rocket or baby spinach.
Before you get started, I need you to do me a favour. PLEASE make it ahead and put it in the fridge before serving. Sure, it’s nice enough fresh. It tastes like parsley and quinoa and tomato and lemon… but let it sit and the tomato juice adds to the dressing, the parsley tenderizes and the quinoa soaks up all of those lovely flavours. It’s worth it, I promise.
Serves 4 as aside
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1 cup parsley leaves
250g cherry tomatoes*
2 tbspns Extra Virgin olive oil
3 tbspns lemon juice
Salt + Pepper
1. Put the quinoa and water in a small saucepan on medium heat. When the water starts to boil, give it a quick stir and put the lid on. Cook for 15 minutes then turn the heat off and leave to cool.
2. Chop the tomatoes and parsley and add it to a salad bowl.
3. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Mix well to get the dressing to coat the tomatoes and parsley. Add the quinoa and stir again.
5. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (or overnight) before serving.
*You can use regular tomatoes too, just make sure they’re perfectly ripe. Under ripe tomatoes make a sad tabbouleh.
Tips for Fussy Eaters: I’ve left out the onion from this traditional dish to make it more appealing to kids. I suggest chopping the parsley very finely to avoid any ‘offensive’ chunks. You can also swap the lemon juice for orange juice, which is really delicious too.
If you’re not feeding fussy eaters, then add in some finely diced red onion or spring onion in with the tomatoes and parsley.
Sarah Moore is a mum, and university qualified Registered Nutritionist with a decade of experience working with families to improve their health and well-being. Sarah has a simplistic and practical approach to family nutrition and can help the overwhelm of eating and living well with private consultations, email Q&A and her school lunchbox ebook. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram for more healthy tips and tricks.