I haven’t been able to convince Cava Mezze to build a restaurant here in Richmond but it’s one of my favorite quick stops when I’m in McLean for work. It’s like a Mediterranean version of Chipotle and I love it. Luckily, they sell their hummus, tzaziki, and quinoa tabbouleh here in Richmond so I can sort of recreate my own bowls at home. The problem is, buying a lot of pre-made food gets expensive! So I decided to make my own quinoa tabbouleh! I’ve made my own tabbouleh before with bulgar, the grain that is traditionally used in this dish, but I know most people probably don’t have that in their pantry and if you’re gluten free then you’re out of luck. So this version uses quinoa (come on, you have to have quinoa in your pantry at all times) and it’s gluten free so even more of you can enjoy it!
It’s also super easy to put together and you can turn this into a whole meal if you just add a little feta or maybe some falafel? Heck, you could just eat it with a spoon and call it a day. Quinoa is a complete source of protein, after all.
- 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- ¾ cup parsley
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Bring the quinoa and water to a boil and simmer until the water is absorbed. (This took about 8 minutes for me.)
- While that cooks, slice your cucumbers into thin slices and then quarter them.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Roughly chop the parsley and mince the garlic.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and let it sit for a bit until it's mostly cooled.
- Toss the quinoa with your chopped veggies, garlic and parsley, then drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop it in the fridge until you're ready to serve it!
This is a perfect dish to make ahead of time and pack for lunch because I think it tastes even better the next day. The flavors have a chance to really meld together and it’s not the kind of salad that gets soggy. You could also add in some extra cucumbers and tomatoes if you want to bulk it up a little more.
Want to make this recipe even easier? Make your quinoa in a rice cooker ahead of time!
Do you ever try to recreate restaurant favorites?