I think I first had taboulleh shortly after my husband and I first started dating. On a visit to his parent's house, his mom made it as a side dish served alongside a really good marinated and grilled leg of lamb. I loved both dishes and have made them many times over the years.
However, I altered the taboulleh recipe once our younger son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I started making it with quinoa instead of bulgur wheat. (The irony is that my son doesn't eat it anyway, but I still always make it with quinoa since it's so healthy and adds a great source of protein.)
Sometimes I use white quinoa, and sometimes I use red, as shown below. (There's also black quinoa, but I don't know that I've ever seen that at the store.)
The cool thing about this traditional taboulleh recipe is that you can customize it however you want, adding or leaving out ingredients that you like/don't like. For example, I've seen some recipes that add a bit of crushed garlic.
1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock (I always use chicken stock -- or even bone broth -- for extra flavor, protein, and nutrients. However, if you don't have broth or stock on hand, water is just fine.)
1 cup quinoa
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
About 20 grape tomatoes, cut in quarters or halves, with seeds removed
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped (I like Vidalia onions, but you can also use red or yellow if you like a stronger flavor.)
1/2 cup scallion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1.) Rinse quinoa in a mesh colander, rubbing the grains together with your fingertips (This removes the bitter taste.)
2.) Add water or stock and quinoa to a 2-3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes, checking to make sure all water has been absorbed (you want the consistency of the quinoa to be fluffy, not wet or sticky).
3.) Chop the parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and scallions while quinoa is cooking. Put in a large bowl.
4.) Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and mint to the chopped vegetable mix
5.) Pour cooked quinoa onto a baking sheet to cool. Once it's at room temperature, fold it into the large bowl with the chopped vegetable mixture.
6.) Serve at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator for a few hours, depending on your preference.
This also makes great leftovers...I usually have it for lunch a few days in a row and am sad when it's all gone!