My brain is kind of fried from working so much, and this is the perfect kind of dish to make for that kind of time in your life.
We’re emerging from this crazy whirlwind right now. In April, we moved from our house in the mountains of Lake County to a sweet little house down the road from our new farm space in Redwood Valley. Part of the transition meant turning a bunch of raw land into a vegetable and flower farm over the course of about two months so that we could grow during this season and not have to wait til next year to start. Our last farm was tiny and took us ten years to get to where it was. This farm is still very much in process, but it took us about a month to get an area planted that absolutely dwarfs anything we’ve ever had before. We’re pretty excited about everything and I can’t wait to show you some pictures.
If you know me personally, you might know that I’ve been compulsively planting too many tomato starts for years and years, and that heirloom tomatoes are my one true vegetable love. I always plant more than I should but it’s really never enough. I’m so thrilled to say that I just planted the heirloom tomato garden of my dreams! (It’s HUGE). The land owner, an expert farmer who’s been teaching us a lot as we go forward this year, keeps making comments along the lines of “you are an absolute lunatic for planting that many tomatoes” but I’m soldiering on, undaunted.
(I still remember the first time I ate an heirloom tomato. I was working at Restaurant Lulu when I was 19 and had just moved to San Francisco, where they were serving this simple tomato salad, but it used tomatoes that were unlike any that I’ve ever seen before, and when I tasted one, it basically blew my mind and changed the entire course of my life. True story.)
Anyway though, this salad. I made this tabouleh with some leftover quinoa, lettuce and herbs from the garden and some mediocre grocery store tomatoes, and it instantly became my favorite salad of the moment. It’s going to be amazing when I actually have some decent tomatoes to put in it. It’s a nice side dish for a summery dinner, served with grilled lamb or chicken, but it’s also a wonderful lunch on its own. We used butter lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps with the tabouleh inside and it’s about my favorite thing to eat in the world now.
Vegan & Gluten Free
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 2 1/2 c. cooked tricolor quinoa
- 1/2 c. finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 c. finely chopped mint leaves
- 3 c. diced tomatoes
- juice from 1 1/2 large lemons
- olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small head of lettuce (butter lettuce would be perfect)
If you’re making the quinoa specifically for this recipe, rinse it with cool water after it’s cooked so that it doesn’t cook the vegetables in the salad. Leftover quinoa that’s not steaming hot anymore obviously doesn’t need rinsing. Combine all the ingredients except the lettuce in a bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper to your own taste. Cover and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (not in the fridge! Cold tomatoes taste weird). Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves, or use the lettuce leaves as wraps.