Tabouli Salad

One of my favorite foods (right up there with the roasted corn!) to get at the Minnesota State Fair every summer is the Holy Land Tabouli salad. It’s on my list of the healthiest food finds at the fair. It’s such a refreshing treat too. Fresh parsley is one of my favorite herbs, I toss it into all my salads as it adds so much flavor in just one bit. But tabouli gives parsley the chance to shine, as it’s one of the main ingredients of the dish.

Tabouli is chockfull of flavor, thanks to the delicious parsley. This tabouli salad is made with whole grains, extra veggies for added texture and flavor, and tahini instead of oil for a more nutrient-dense, healthy fat. 

oil-free tabouli

One cup of parsley (which you’ll definitely be getting in this dish!) is a good source of Vitamin K, beta carotene, Vitamin C, folate, and iron. Sounds a whole lot like the nutritional benefits of other green leafy vegetables!

Serve this dish as a side salad with baked falafel and whole grain pita bread, or make this the main course and top it with roasted chickpeas for some extra crunch (and plant-based proteins!).

oil-free tabouli
Tabouli Salad
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  1. ½ cup uncooked quinoa*
  2. 8 cups of curly parsley, packed (about 2 bunches)
  3. ½ cup onion, minced
  4. 1 large bell pepper, minced
  5. 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, minced*
  6. 1 Tablespoon tahini
  7. 1 Tablespoon water
  8. 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  9. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  10. Black pepper, to taste
  1. If the quinoa is not already prepared, wash the quinoa well. Combine 1 cup water with ½ cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Let the quinoa cook for about 15 minutes or until the water steams off and the quinoa is fluffy. Allow the quinoa to cool.
  2. Prep the parsley. Remove the leaves from the larger stems, some smaller stems are fine. Wash the parsley well. Add to a food processor, may work well to do in smaller batches. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the parsley to a mixing bowl.
  3. Wash the remaining vegetables. Mince the onion, peppers, and tomatoes into small pieces. Add to the bowl with the parsley. Mix in the quinoa.
  4. In a bowl, combine the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic powder. Stir until well combined then pour over the salad and stir well. Add black pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy the salad as is or toss on some crispy chickpeas* and baba ganoush for some finishing touches.
  1. Serves about 2-4 people as a main course.
  2. You can swap in bulgur wheat for the quinoa. Prepare like the quinoa, combining ½ cup bulgur wheat to 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to cook until tender.
  3. If using precooked quinoa, add ~1.5 cups cooked quinoa to the dish.
  4. 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, is ~1.25 cups minced. So you can always swap in another kind of tomato. Personally, I find it easier to work with the cherry tomatoes.
  5. To roast the chickpeas, Preheat oven to 400F. Rinse the chickpeas if using canned or packaged. Place the chickpeas on a pan with a silicon mat, and roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. You’ll likely want to stir them frequently to keep them from burning and to help them roast more evenly.
Kristina DeMuth