Traditional tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern salad combining cracked wheat with fresh parsley. This gluten-free version uses healthy quinoa. My secret ingredient is the Sherry vinegar, which adds a pop of bright, acidic flavor. Sherry vinegar is fruitier than red wine vinegar and less sweet than balsamic. This tabbouleh calls for curly parsley, which has a milder, slightly sweeter flavor than flat-leaf parsley, and nicely complements the nutty flavor of the quinoa.
- Place the quinoa, coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a dry pot. Cover and toast over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5-7 minutes. When the quinoa is toasted, add the shallot, garlic, and 2 cups of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until quinoa is done, about 10-12 minutes. When the quinoa is done, remove from heat and fluff to steam off any excess liquid.
- Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl. Let cool for about 10 minutes. (Note: You can speed this up by placing the bowl in the freezer.)
- While the quinoa cools, chop the parsley and dice the tomatoes.When the quinoa has cooled, add the Sherry vinegar, parsley, and tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Taste to adjust seasoning.
- Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.
Classically-trained Chef Katie Simmons is a personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market. Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet.