Quinoa Tabbouleh

I first came across this variation of the classic tabbouleh in a lovely organic restaurant in Cusco, Peru. Having just returned from the strenuous hike along the famous „Inka Trail“ to Machu Picchu – truly one of the most memorable experiences of my life – I was craving – no, neither for a huge steak, giant bowl of steaming pasta or one of the more hearty Peruvian dishes such as Anticucho, Alpaca loin or Lomo Saltado – but for a really fresh, crisp salad.

And I not only felt that my craving was quenched with this beautiful dish, I also very much liked the exchange of bulgur with red quinoa, which has a lovely nutty taste and combines beautifully with the other ingredients.




  • ca. 100 grams of red quinoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt for boiling
  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large vine tomato, washed
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of dried Nana Mint
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel


  1. Thoroughly wash the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water. (This is important in order to remove substances in the shells that otherwise turn the quinoa bitter.)
  2. Bring approx. 1/2 liter of salt water to boil. Add the quinoa and let boil at medium to high for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The quinoa should then be „al dente„.
  3. Pour the hot quinoa back into a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until it is cooled down completely. Set aside.
  4. Pick the parsley leaves of the stems. Wash and dry the leaves.
  5. Chop the parsley (not too finely, but also not too roughly – the leaves must be cut to absorb the flavors of the dressing properly. This also turns them more tender.)
  6. Put the chopped parsley into a large sealable food container.
  7. Cut the tomato into fine cubes and add to the parsley. Also add the cold quinoa and the shallot.
  8. Dress with the lemon juice and olive oil, salt, pepper, and add the dried mint. Mix well.
  9. Seal the container and let the flavors infuse for some time (best is over-night) before consuming.


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