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Quinoa Tabbouleh
Quinoa Tabbouleh Photo courtesy of Jake Gartland

Traditional tabbouleh uses bulgur and a heck of a lot of that cleansing herb, parsley. At San Francisco’s Parallel 37, the dish retains its herby appeal but swaps its grain base for our favorite protein-packed seed: quinoa. The restaurant’s new chef, Michael Rotondo, heralds the ancient seed’s health perks as well as its nutty flavor and crunchy texture. After enjoying a serving of Rotondo’s recipe with a pita for dinner and then again for lunch, we’re entirely sold.

Makes 4 servings (plus about 3/4 cup dressing)

1 cup low-sodium or homemade vegetable stock or broth

½ cup quinoa

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more for seasoning

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 bunches flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped (about 4 cups)

1 English cucumber, finely chopped (about 2 cups)

½ cup finely chopped mint leaves

½ cup finely chopped tomatoes

¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small skillet set over medium-high heat, toast the quinoa, stirring occasionally, until the grains release a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes.

2. Transfer the toasted quinoa to the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed all the stock, about 12 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the quinoa to a large bowl to cool to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa with the parsley, cucumber, mint, tomatoes and red bell pepper. Add the reserved dressing to taste and toss to mix thoroughly. Season the tabbouleh to taste with salt and pepper and additional lemon juice if needed. Serve.

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