I’ve always said that you have to master the classics before it’s time to move on and start adding your twists, but my tune has changed a bit in the past year. While that is certainly a traditional way to think in a professional food setting, it’s really no longer feasible. I’m not going to lie, I’ve made tabouleh salads only a handful of times, so I’ve not really mastered anything. BUT, what I am good at is twisting up classics and DANG was this twist successful.
I’m not so much of a fan of the authentic recipe as I think the main ingredients of parsley is a bit overkill to the dish, so I decided I would cut back on that and replace it with kale. As you can see form the picture alone there are quite a bit more goodies mixed in starting with the quinoa. Bob’s Red Mill® makes an awesome tricolor quinoa that is so delicious, filled with color and for some reason to me has a tad of sweetness to it; Maybe it was just me, but it’s perfect for this recipe! In addition to using quinoa instead of the traditional bulgur cracked wheat, I added in some green onions, red wine vinegar, chickpeas and some fried feta right to the top!
I was blown away at just how balanced the flavor was and how by cutting back the parsley allowed for all of the other ingredient notes to come forth. While the classic version uses just lemon juice and olive oil I thought the use of red wine vinegar would help tone down the intense acidic flavor of fresh lemon juice, which it did.
Fried Feta can be tricky, but just be patient and let it brown before flipping! Note that the caramelized edges tend to stick to the pan!
Last but not least a big pic below for pinning 🙂
Tabouleh Quinoa Salad Recipe with Fried Feta Cheese
- 4 cups of cooked Bob’s Red Mill® Tricolor Quinoa
- 2 cups of chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup of chopped fresh mint
- ½ small diced red onion
- 1 bunch of thinly sliced green onions
- 4 cups of assorted cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 thinly sliced English cucumber
- two 16-ounce cans of strained and rinsed chickpeas
- 2 cups of thinly sliced fresh kale
- zest of 2 lemons
- juice of 2 ½ lemons
- ¼ cup of red wine vinegar
- ½ cup of olive oil + 2 tablespoons
- one 4-ounce block of feta cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Add all of the ingredients into a large bowl except for the juice of ½ lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and feta cheese and mix until completely combined and chill.
In a hot sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil sear the feta on both sides until a golden brown curst has been formed, about 2 minutes on each side. Deglaze with juice of ½ lemon and add to the top of the salad before serving.