Until today the weather has been stunning in Paris recently - the sun hasn't stopped shining and it is boiling hot. This got me thinking about portable picnic food and make ahead salads for BBQs. Tabbouleh is the ultimate quick chop salad, that requires relatively few ingredients and actually tastes better if you make it in advance because it gives the herbs time to infuse, and the quinoa to soak up all the olive oïl and lemon juice.
Althought tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgar wheat, quinoa is a great alternative since it has a very high protein content and contains all the essential amino acids. Using quinoa also makes the dish gluten-free and gives the dish a delicious nutty taste that goes so well with the chopped fresh herbs, juicy tomatoes and refreshing cucumber.
People don't use herbs often enough in cooking - they are the simplest addition but make so much difference to flavour. Mint in particular tastes so fresh and summery, plus it is a brilliant digestant thanks to the calming effects of its essential oïl. Coriander has anti-inflammatory properties and aids your body in its processing of fats, whilst giving your tabbouleh a more exotic taste.
Serves 6 as a side
3 cups of cooked quinoa
1 cup of deseeded, cubed cucumber
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1/2 a red onion
1/2 cup of finely chopped mint
1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley
4 tbsp of olive oïl
Juice of one lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Chop the red onion as finely as possible, then add to a large salad bowl with the quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes and herbs. Pour over the olive oïl and lemon juice then toss to coat all the quinoa evenly. Season with sea salt and serve with babaghanoush and falafel.