A delicate balance; a mouthwatering salad!
This salad, a spring version of the traditional tabbouleh, explodes with fresh flavors! First the parsley and mint – used generously here, as they should be with all tabbouleh – make the taste buds come alive, while the pickled asparagus adds quite a bit of punch. The sweet, skinless tangelo slices contribute their bright flavor as well as a bit of sweetness, and the quinoa tames all those vibrant flavors with its delicious nuttiness.
The health benefits of quinoa
As if you needed another reason to make this salad, research has shown that quinoa is great for your health. It’s a complete protein, and is also packed with essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous. It has a storied history of consumption throughout the ages – even Inca warriors are said to have relished the wonderful seed! Check out my guide on how to cook quinoa for more background (and, of course, to learn how to make perfect, fluffy quinoa for this tabbouleh).
All in all, this salad is absolutely mouthwatering. Serve it on its own or as part of an antipasti, mezze or spring picnic.
Food & wine pairing: Greece, Malagousia with quinoa tabbouleh and pickled asparagus
A floral wine with citrus notes and good acidity is what this salad needs. And a Malagousia, the most alluring and flirtatious Greek white, makes a marvelous pairing. But you could also pour a Torrontés Riojano from Argentina. Fresh and highly aromatic, both wines are bursting with floral aromas and citrus notes – all delightful with the salad.
Quinoa tabbouleh with pickled asparagus and tangelos
active time: 30 min (excludes making the pickled asparagus)
For the vinaigrette
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the salad
- 2 tangelos
- 3 oz (85 g) Italian parsley (1 bunch) – tough stems removed (3 cups loosely packed leaves)
- 1 oz (30 g) fresh mint (1 small bunch) – leaves removed from stems
- 2 cups cooked quinoa – at room temperature
- 4 medium Boston lettuce leaves
- 1/2 recipe pickled asparagus with pink peppercorn and mustard seeds – well drained
- Step 1: To make the vinaigrette, place the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
- Step 2: Peel the tangelos down to their flesh. Quarter each fruit, slice the central core off and remove the membrane around each slice. (Watch the video for exact technique.) Set aside. Coarsely chop the parsley and mint and place in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Toss until well blended. To serve on individual plates, place one lettuce leaf onto each plate. Spoon the tabbouleh in the center of each leaf. Garnish with a few tangelo slices, place a few pickled asparagus next to the salad and serve. To serve family style, tear the lettuce leaves in 3″ pieces and arrange them on a serving platter. Top with the tabbouleh. Garnish with the tangelo slices and the pickled asparagus and serve.