Yield: 35 servings, 8 ounces each
This trendy take on a popular Middle Eastern dish uses quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) instead of the traditional bulgur. Quinoa is a small protein-packed grain native to the Andean region of South America. The fresh herbs, tomatoes, and cucumber in this recipe balance with the slightly nutty flavor of the grain to create a refreshingly cooling side salad.
- 1 pound garbanzo beans
- 3 pounds tri-color quinoa
- Approximately 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 pounds tomatoes, diced
- 1 pound cucumber, diced
- 2 bunches fresh parsley, minced
- 1 bunch fresh mint, minced
- Approximately ¾ cup (+) lemon juice
- Approximately 1 cup (+) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- Soak garbanzo beans overnight to improve digestibility and decrease cook time.
- In a large pot with a lid, add the soaked garbanzo beans and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Bring beans to a full boil, then lower heat and simmer with lid on until tender and easily smashed.
- Strain cooking water from beans. Set aside in the refrigerator to cool.
- In a large pot with a lid, add quinoa and cover in water with a 2:1 ratio (twice as much water as quinoa). Add approximately ½ teaspoon sea salt, and bring the quinoa to a full boil. Stir once, then lower heat and simmer with lid on until liquid is absorbed. Do not stir during cooking. * Check if all liquid is absorbed by tipping the pan slightly. If no liquid is visible at the top of the quinoa, then it is finished cooking. If liquid is still visible, then replace the lid and continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed.
- When quinoa is finished cooking, turn off heat but keep covered and let steam for about 10 minutes. Transfer quinoa from the cooking pot to a large bowl or shallow pan and cool in the refrigerator before mixing in additional ingredients.
- When quinoa is cooled, add in cooked garbanzo beans, onion, tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper. Add more lemon juice, olive oil, and salt to taste.