It’s great having a recipe for something easy and requires very little cooking in this hot weather but that is also immensely satisfying in their own. Lots of salads fall in this category and I am partial to a few recipes I have learned from Michael Solomonv’s book “Zahav” that he creates as variations on the Lebanese salad called Tabbouleh.
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Tabbouleh is a combination of lots of flat leaf parsley, tomatoes, burghul (cracked wheat), fresh mint, onions where all the vegetables and herbs are diced very small and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Since this recipe from Zahav (and others like it with Kale as a stand in for parsley and walnuts as a stand in for burghul) do not have those basic ingredients, they are in my opinion awesome salads but not Tabbouleh. So, on to this delicious salad components.
First the quinoa is cooked in salted boiling water until tender. Then fresh or -as I use 99% of the time- frozen green peas get blanched in boiling water briefly and then coarsely mashed the back of a fork. In a bowl the quinoa, peas, diced red onions, mint, some parsley gets tossed with a lemon and olive oil dressing. I really like Solomonov’s simple lemon juice dressing. Equal parts olive oil and lemon juice by volume. I shake them in a jar with salt and pepper. Done.
For the kale and walnut version, finely shredded kale is tossed with a large handful of chopped walnuts, a diced apple and a small handful red onions that were marinated in a little red wine vinegar and sumac. Dress it all well with the same lemon juice and olive oil mixture.
Quinoa Salad with Peas and Parsley
Adapted from Zahav by Michael Solomonov
- 200 gr (1 Cup) Quinoa
- 2 bunches flat leaf Parsley, chopped fine (about 1.5 Cups)
- Green peas, fresh or frozen (about 1.5 Cups)
- 75 gr red onion, finely diced (about 1/3 Cup)
- 2 small handfuls finely chopped Mint (about 1/3 Cup)
Lemon Juice Dressing
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- Place quinoa in a medium pot and cover with water by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
- Blanch the peas in a pot of boiling water for a minute, drain them and put them in a bowl with cold water to cool them and retain their color. Drain well and place them in a large bowl and mash coarsely with the back of a fork.
- Soak the onions in a small bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Drain well and add to the peas.
- Mix all the dressing ingredients well (I use a small jam jar to shake them all together).
- Add the parsley and mint to the bowl with the peas and add the drained cooled quinoa. Toss everything well with the dressing, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.