This is my version of Tabbouleh - the Middle Eastern salad that is largely bulgur wheat and parsley. While I like Tabbouleh, I often find it to be too lemony, too oily, and too parsley-ish. In my version I use hearty farro and quinoa (though quinoa is technically not a grain but a seed) and add other herbs and of course no oil. Farro is an ancient grain originally discovered in the fertile crescent of the Middle East and now grown in Italy. It has a rice-like texture and will absorb the flavors of whatever it is combined with. It gives the salad a nice texture that complements the softness of the quinoa. This salad is hearty enough for a meal perhaps with a side of bread. Happy plant-based eating!
Herb and Grain Salad
Serves 4 as an entree
1 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup dry farro
2 plum or roma tomatoes, chopped,
1/2 a large cucumber, chopped
3 scallions, sliced
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped mint
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 dashes cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons chives or the tops of scallions, chopped
Cook farro and quinoa according to package directions. Transfer both to a large bowl and let cool. Once cool add the tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, parsley, cilantro, and mint to the grains and combine well.
In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients - lemon juice, garlic, coriander, salt, cinnamon and chives. Pour over the salad and toss well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. The salad can be served immediately or chilled. Serves 4 as an entree or 8 as a side.
For an even heartier version try adding an avocado cut into cubes!