Sara’s strawberry + quinoa tabouli


We're finally emerging from the fog of sickness that wiped out both kids these past few weeks. I wasn't pretty. Days blurred into sleepless fever-spiked nights. Dates were confused, as we hibernated from the cold and rain. All outside distractions were forgotten as I did my best to nurse my babies back to health. Miraculously, I somehow managed to avoid getting sick myself. Sleeping tucked up next to two sick little monkeys coughing all over me, I'm not really sure how. It could be that I already had immunity to this particular 2-week long flu, as I too suffered from it about a month ago. Or maybe my mummy body knew that I simply could not get sick, cause then who would take care of the kids?

The day the kids were well enough to go back to school, I made this beautiful Strawberry + Quinoa Tabouli for lunch, a slight riff of Sara Forte's recipe found in her latest book Bowl + Spoon which I was sent a few months ago. While the kids were sick I spent many a day flicking through my stacks of new cookbooks as the kids lay watching dvd's (to keep their minds of how yuck they were feeling!). The idea of a cookbook filled with foods you eat from a bowl is one that fits perfectly with my style of cooking and eating as I've long been a bowl-food girl! There's loads of the recipes I'd like to try from book (the Tahini Kale Slaw + Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl is calling my name), but it was this fresh spring-y salad which yelled out to me, helped along by the fact that I already had cooked quinoa in the fridge, herbs in the garden and fresh locally grown strawberries which I'd picked up at the farmers markets just a few days before.

You'll all know by now how much I love fresh herbs in salads and this one is exactly the kind of thing I love to eat for lunch. The sweetness of the strawberries added a little something, something, and I'll be sure to add berries to my salads more often after trying this one. I could imagine this tabouli would work perfectly alongside falafel, minted yoghurt and wraps for a slightly non-traditional take on a falafel kebab. But it's also lovely eaten straight up, which is exactly what I did.

Sara's strawberry + quinoa tabouli
Sara uses bulgur wheat in her tabouli, but offers quinoa as a gluten-free option, so this is what I've used here. If you don't already have cooked, cooled quinoa at hand you'll need approx. 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa to give you the right amount, although I'd probably just cook 1 cup and have leftovers. I love my herbs, so instead of using set amounts, I just used a good big handful of both and as we have chives in the garden all year-round, I used these in place of the spring onions (green onions/scallions). I've also changed the wording of a few of the ingredients from their US terms to Australian/NZ. Sara offers a suggestion of crumbling a little feta over the top, for those who tolerate dairy.
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa*, cold
250g punnet strawberries, washed, hulled + finely diced
2 - 3 Lebanese cucumbers (or 1 medium telegraph), finely diced
a handful chives or 3 spring onions, finely sliced
a big handful mint leaves, finely chopped
a big handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Finely grated zest + juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Combine cold cooked quinoa, strawberries, cucumber, chives/spring onions, mint, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest + juice and black pepper in a large bowl. Finely chop the garlic, sprinkle over 1/2 teaspoon salt, then using the side of your knife blade, mash it to form a paste. Add to the bowl and give everything a good stir to evenly combine. Taste and add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt if needed. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Best eaten on the day of making.
See quinoa cooking instructions here.

Slightly adapted from a recipe in Bowl + Spoon by Sara Forte (Ten Speed Press, 2015). Disclaimer: I received a copy courtesy of Ten Speed Press. All views are my own.

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  • Reply
    Cady | Wild Heart of Life
    August 10, 2015 at 3:26 am

    (!) I am intrigued/allured by the idea of tabouleh but I cannot get down with parsley, despite my best efforts. I think I shall make this doubling the mint and maybe have a tabouleh-derivative that gets around my distaste for parsley. Beautiful.

    • Reply
      August 10, 2015 at 3:33 am

      You could totally leave the parsley out, no worries 🙂

  • Reply
    Sprouted Kitchen
    August 10, 2015 at 3:43 am

    What a treat to have you make something from my book. Flattered and grateful for you sharing it here, miss. Glad your babies are better and you made it through!! Take good care, pretty lady xo

    • Reply
      August 10, 2015 at 4:22 am

      Thanks Sara! I can't wait to try more recipes from it, it's exactly the kind of food I looooove. xx

  • Reply
    valentina | sweet kabocha
    August 10, 2015 at 5:59 am

    I love strawberries in savory salads! Btw, we're having about 35°C degrees every day here, I would pay for some cold weather 😛

  • Reply
    Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
    August 10, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Aw I am glad your kids are feeling better! Winter time is the worst for the flu. This salad looks totally gorgeous – I have never used strawberries savoury meals before but will have to give it a go. You are right, I bet with falafel, yogurt and wraps it would be a beautiful alternative to regular tomato tabouli! 🙂

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    August 10, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I love fresh herb salads too! So much. This strawberry version is awesome!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Noah this looks delish! Will definitely be giving it a go.

    xx Jess and Ruby

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    August 10, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Oh yes, I'm a bowl meal lover too! Hope your kiddos are feeling better soon! xo

  • Reply
    Meg | bread+barrow
    August 10, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    So yummy! I, too, am a bowl girl. This is perfect – I think I have all of those ingredients as well. Looks like lunch to me! xx

  • Reply
    August 10, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    So happy to hear that everyone's on the up and up. And isn't B+S so good? We cook from it at least once a week.. which doesn't sound like much but we never cook straight out of cookbooks. A keeper, for sure. Can't wait to try this strawberry-quinoa number.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Oh, this looks delicious, Emma! I absolutely love it. Strawberries!!!

  • Reply
    Gabriella | So We Go
    August 13, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    This looks so delicious and colourful! I've always loved the idea of using strawberries in savoury salads but have never actually gotten around to making it… this has definitely inspired me to get creative this weekend! xx

  • Reply
    Alison Borgas
    August 14, 2015 at 4:45 am

    That looks so easy and so divine… I can just imagine the mint and strawberry together… Love your photos, too!

  • Reply
    Christina Soong
    August 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I don't know if I could imagine a better summer recipe!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    This looks amazing! Must taste just like summer!! Have you tried throwing in feta or goat cheese?

    • Reply
      August 23, 2015 at 9:24 am

      I haven't, but Sara has it as an option in her recipe (and it's in my head notes :-)) I'm sure either would be a lovely addition xx

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