This time of year I desperately look for any and every way to take advantage of our abundant garden, namely the tomatoes who are currently on a serious ripening rampage. It’s painful to watch an unused tomato go rotten on the counter, when in just a few months I’ll be dying to have one so juicy and fresh. Gazpacho, tomato sauce, salsa, more gazpacho, BLT’s, tomato-basil-mozzarella salads for lunch and dinner daily…… Not that I get tired of it, I just wish the tomato good-ness could be spread more evenly throughout the year!
While brainstorming other lunch-worthy uses for tomatoes, I thought of tabbouleh, and then I thought of the tabbouleh I had at a recent potluck (well, in June… Is it really August already?!) This light and refreshing herbal salad swapped out the traditional bulgur wheat for quinoa plus a good dose of mung beans, all together making one protein-packed, fiber-full, and vitamin-rich hearty salad.
Tabbouleh is easy because there’s no right and wrong ratios of herbs to grains or veggies, so it’s really just up to your taste. This recipe’s a keeper in my book, especially when it comes to putting all these summer garden veggies to use.
Quinoa + Mung Bean Tabbouleh, adapted from The Healthy Cooking Coach
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa + 1 ¾ cups water (use 2 cups of cooked)
- 1 cup whole mung beans + 3 cups water (use 2 cups of cooked)
- 1 ½ cups washed, stemmed + finely chopped parsley leaves
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped coarsely
- ½ cup minced scallions, white + green parts
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- 3 medium-size tomatoes, diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ¼ t ground black pepper
- ½ t sea salt
- 3 T fresh lemon juice
- 3 T olive oil
Boil 3 cups water in saucepan. Add mung beans, turn heat to low. Cover saucepan and simmer over low heat 20-30 minutes or until all water is absorbed and the beans are tender. If there is extra water, strain it out.
Place quinoa in a colander and rinse several times, rubbing the grains together to remove the bitter outer layer. Place water and quinoa into a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and remove pot from burner; let stand covered 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
While mung beans and quinoa are cooking, chop all vegetables and combine in a large bowl, along with garlic, salt, pepper, lemon and olive oil. Set aside or refrigerate. When beans and quinoa have cooled a bit (it’s ok if they’re still be a little warm) measure out 2 cups of each and toss with parsley mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
The tabouli will be best if left to sit in the refrigerator for a day to blend flavors, but you can also serve immediately. Tabouli is served at room temperature, so remove from fridge 30 minutes before.
Above: tabbouleh before adding the quinoa. It’s delicious like this as well, with a more pungent herbal flavor…
Enjoy and happy tomato season!! –mich