I wrote this recipe in June of 2020, to go along with a story about talking to your family at the dinner table. Those conversations aren’t always easy, but they’re necessary. Read the Times Union story here (their site), or here (mine). There were also recipes for Rice and Beans with Crispy Green Onions and Avocado, and Strawberry Galette with a Cornmeal Cookie Crust.
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad, typically made with bulgur wheat and tomatoes and while tabbouleh is so good and you don’t need to mess around with it, I like to change things up and so I did.
This version is made with beets instead of tomatoes and quinoa in place of bulgur. I know that beets are often thought of as a fall and winter vegetable, but I love the early beets, which are smaller and sweeter. For those who dislike this vegetable and think they taste like dirt (“earthy,” we like to say), these early, small, tender beets are less earthy and worth a try.
If you can find the candy-striped beets at the farmer’s market, buy those, if only for their absolute beauty. Really, though, any beet will do. Tabbouleh’s best attribute is that it’s nearly half herbs. How much more summer-y can you get?
Beet TabboulehCourse: Grains + Sides, Salads + Veggies
Beet Tabbouleh with Quinoa and Feta Cheese
4 small beets, trimmed and scrubbed
1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (from ½ cup uncooked)
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
- Fill a pot with a few inches of water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the beets and let them cook for 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and allow the beets to cool.
- Peel the beets (the skin should slide off easily and if not, use a small sharp knife to peel) and dice.
- In a salad bowl, combine the beets, quinoa, parsley, feta and capers. Gently stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt or lemon if desired. Keeps refrigerated for 3 days, and is best the day after it’s made.