There’s a cute little Mediterranean cafe around the corner from us here in the TasteSpotting HQ kitchen where we recently ate falafel for the first time in years…
Those little chickpea fritters are amazing, and now in the whirling midst of 30 Days of Quinoa, we thought about making quinoa-based falafel. It would work well, it seems, since the quinoa is similar in texture to the coarsely ground chickpeas in falafel, and we had already tried successfully (and surprisingly!) pan-frying little quinoa cakes. Forming quinoa into balls and deep-frying couldn’t be so hard.
And we still believe that — it wouldn’t be hard, no not at all — though we didn’t up trying to make falafel because we got distracted by tabbouleh, often seen on the same table with falafel, hummus, tahini and pita bread.
We may never get to quinoa falafel because we’re only doing this for 30 days and we’re already halfway through our menu of quinoa dishes. But that’s okay, there are other places to find quinoa falafel, and we’re happy to just sit on the sunny part of our patio with a bowl full of tabbouleh.
And if you’re allergic to tomatoes like some of us in the TasteSpotting kitchen are, you can always substitute cherries, like we did last summer.
The amounts in this recipe are not exact because a dish like this is meant to be made with handfuls of chopped herbs, drizzles of this, and pinches of that, all of which will be different from person to person. Adjust everything accordingly. Many recipes go much heavier on the quinoa (or bulgur, in the original, traditional tabbouleh), making this dish more of a quinoa dish with herbs as a flavor component. I like tabbouleh that is all about the herbs, with the grains as a texture component in the background.
makes enough for 1 or 2 or 3 or 4
2-3 large bunches of flat leaf parsley
1 bunch fresh mint, julienned or chopped
2 large tomatoes (or a container of cherry tomatoes, halved)
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked quinoa
juice from half a lemon
2-4 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
Wash and dry parsley, pull leaves from stems, and chop leaves. You don’t have to fully remove the stems, and in most other cases, I am not that meticulous myself, but when it comes to parsley, for some reason I am OCD about using only the leaves. It takes me at least 30 minutes to sit there and pull all the leaves off.
Put chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions and cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, about ¼ teaspoon salt and several hard turns on the pepper mill. Toss everything together. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt and/or pepper if needed.