Here in NY, it finally feels like spring has made its way back to our pavement. It’s been a long winter and it’s officially over. When the weather starts to lighten up, my mind automatically goes to creating new and interesting salads. Greens on the trees. Greens in my bowl.
Tebbouleh by definition is a bulgur salad loaded with parsley and lemon. I have never been a fan of Tebbouleh that is overwhelmingly parsley. Don’t get me wrong- I am very fond of the flat leafed aromatic green herb but I don’t want to have a fork in one hand and floss in the other. I like it somewhere in the middle. (A little green in your teeth never killed anyone. Or has it?? I’m not sure)
In this version, I use quinoa instead of bulgur to keep with the gluten free theme. However, feel free to use any grain you want- even couscous. Also, I have listed pomegranate seeds as an ingredient but I only use them if they are really awesome- otherwise, I would rather use the currants. Lastly, I have added arugula to create more of a green leafy salad rather than a grain salad. Hope you like it. If not, don’t tell me.
And for your listening pleasure here is the original version by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs - "Tebbouleh Bully". Please feel free to play the song while creating this salad. (And if you do I would love for you to tag with me on instagram and hashtag #mylifemytebbouleh )
Tebbouleh Arugula Salad
½ cup of Quinoa
1 cup water (a little less actually- I take 2 tablespoons off the top)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ packed cups parsley leaves- fill the cup as much as you can, then chop
1 packed cup mint leaves, cut finely after measuring
4 Kirby cucumbers, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 cup chopped fennel (about 1 very small fennel bulb or half of a large one)
½ cup currants or 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
4 packed cups baby arugula
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Za’atar spice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 fresh garlic clove, chopped or 1 frozen garlic cube
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
Make the Dressing:
In a small bowl or mini food processor combine the lemon juice, Dijon, Za’atar, salt, pepper and garlic. Slowly whisk in the olive oil one drop at a time until it is fully combined and the oil doesn't separate. This dressing will last 10 days in the refrigerator.
Make the Salad:
In a small saucepan, place the quinoa, water, salt and oil. Under a medium flame, bring the pot up to a boil. When it boils, lower the flame as much as you can and let the quinoa cook slowly. This will take you about 20-30 min. You know it’s ready when the water is fully absorbed and if you taste it the quinoa isn’t too hard. When it’s finished place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl (not your serving bowl).
If using the currants, place them in a strainer and rinse under very hot water for a full minute. Blot them dry with paper towels and mix them into the quinoa. (or just add the pomegranate seeds to the bowl)
When cutting up your parsley and mint try not to go over it too many times with the knife because it will turn black and slightly mushy. Do as best as you can- just remember a rough chop with large pieces is better than a mushy chop. Mix the herbs, cucumber, fennel, and arugula into the mixing bowl with quinoa.
Pour half of the dressing over the salad. Using gloved hands* gently mix the salad till it is fully incorporated. If it seems too dry, add 1 tablespoon of dressing at a time and continue mixing. You probably will have some dressing leftover- don't feel like you need to use all of it. Remember, you don’t want it soggy. Using your hands, transfer the dressed salad to your serving bowl. I like to pile it high in the center and let the salad organically fall to the sides. It makes for a pretty presentation.
*I like to use gloved hands to toss my salads in a separate mixing bowl. I use my hands because it is a lot gentler on the salad and you get a more thorough mix. I use the separate bowl so that my serving bowl doesn’t have dressing all over the sides when I’m ready to serve.
Flat Leaf Parsley - chop after measuring
Organic Quinoa (from Costco) and Za'atar spice (sometimes spelled Zahtar)