Quinoa with Tomatoes, Cucumber & Fresh Herbs

Cook, In Season, Meat-Free Mains, Recipes, Sides, Summer, Weeknight Dinner

Quinoa with Tomatoes, Cucumber, & Fresh Herbs

The trio of green onion, parsley and mint, along with succulent vegetables, brings verdant color and a bold herbal taste to this summery salad. Inspired by traditional Middle Eastern tabbouleh, here protein-rich quinoa stands in for the traditional bulgur.


Quinoa with Tomatoes, Cucumber & Fresh Herbs


1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g.) quinoa

3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml.) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 large lemons

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs. pomegranate molasses

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil

2 ripe large tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 large English cucumber, diced

4 green onions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced

1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g.) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g.) coarsely chopped fresh mint


Put the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly under running cold water and drain. In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir once, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.


Finely grate the zest from 1 of the lemons, then halve both lemons and juice the halves to measure 5 tablespoons (3 fl. oz./80 ml.). In a small nonreactive bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, garlic, pomegranate molasses, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grindings of pepper until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make a dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add about three-fourths of the dressing to the quinoa and stir to mix well.


In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and let stand until they release their juice, about 5 minutes, then drain in a sieve set over a second bowl. Place the cucumber in the first bowl along with the green onions and remaining dressing. Toss well, then pour the cucumber mixture over the tomatoes in the sieve to drain. Add the drained tomato-cucumber mixture to the quinoa along with the parsley and mint and stir gently to mix well. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve right away. Serves 4.

4 comments about “Quinoa with Tomatoes, Cucumber & Fresh Herbs

  1. Laurel Cheple

    This is awesome. I made it for the Fourth of July for a party. Big Hit! We ate the leftovers , for 2 days and it held up so well, and was still delicious…


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