Traditional tabbouleh, made with barley, gets a protein boost here with a substitution of the even healthier grain, quinoa. Add in beets, pomegranate arils and marcona almonds and you have a tabbouleh like no other. If you cannot find red quinoa, go with the traditional wheat-hued. This recipe comes from the True Food cookbook and I ended up making a few modifications to get the dish just right for my palate.
Quinoa Tabbouleh With Beets, Pomegranate And Marcona Almonds
1 lb raw beets (*)
2 c red quinoa
1/2 extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, mashed
1/2 t salt (or more to taste)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/3 c fresh Italian parsley (have a few more T on hand - you may like more)
1/4 c fresh chopped mint (have a few more T on hand - you may like more)
3 scallions, chopped
2 oz arugula
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate (**)
1/4 c Marcona almonds
fresh ground black pepper (not part of the recipe - I felt the salad needed it)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pierce the beets in a few places with a fork. Bake beets for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes. Using paper towels or food prep gloves to protect your hands from staining, peel the skin from the beets. Cut beets into cubes and set aside.
Bring 4 c salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer low until the quinoa is dry and fluffy, about 15-20 minutes.
In a large salad bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper flakes. In a separate bowl, add beets, quinoa, parsley, mint, scallions and arugula and toss well to combine. Slowly add in desired amount of dressing. Divide the salad among serving plates. Top each plate with pomegranate seeds and almonds. Fresh ground black pepper is not a part of the original recipe but I finished each salad with a dusting. Delicious.
(*) homemade roasted beets are the best option, but if you short on time, pick up a package of Melissa's steamed beets. 4 medium beets is a good substitution.
(**) when pomegranates are not in season use about 4-6 T frozen pomegranate arils, thawed
Source: True Food cookbook, Dr. Weil