This recipe is from the newly released Vegetables for breakfast.
If you like, cook the quinoa — or prepare the whole dish — the night or day before and store it in the fridge.
1 cup quinoa
About 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large bunch Italian parsley
2 large or 3 medium-sized tomatoes
2-3 Persian cucumbers
4-6 sprigs fresh mint
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A few edible flowers (here, tricolor viola) and lettuce for garnish
Quinoa must be washed thoroughly at least three times to prevent it from tasting bitter. The bitterness comes from saponin, a natural soapy-tasting chemical that coats each quinoa seed to protect the plant from predators.
Wash the quinoa well by immersing in a bowl of cold water, letting it sit for 5 minutes or more, and then agitating and rinsing it well. The water will look bubbly and sudsy. Repeat this three times. Into a medium-sized pot pour 4 cups water. Add a pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Add the washed quinoa and allow water to boil again; lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about 30 minutes, until all water is absorbed and quinoa is still moist. Allow quinoa to sit for about 10 minutes and then transfer it to a glass or ceramic bowl and allow to cool.
While the quinoa cooks, chop the parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, scallions and mint into tiny pieces and set aside.
When the quinoa is cool, add a small amount (about one-fifth) to a large glass or ceramic bowl. Layer the quinoa, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, scallions and mint. Repeat this 4-5 times, then mix all layers together.
Pour the lemon juice, drizzle the olive oil and season with sea salt. Mix it all up well.
Garnish with lettuce greens and edible flowers. Serve.
Stored in a covered glass container in the fridge, the quinoa tabouleh will keep for up to three days.