Red Quinoa Salad with Fresh Tahini Dressing

 While this tabbouleh salad gets its inspiration from the classic Middle Eastern dish, it also has a few major tweaks - instead of traditional bulgar wheat, it's made from a base of red quinoa - a superfood pseudo-grain (it's actually a seed!) packed full of complete protein (all 9 essential amino acids!), fiber, and a plethora of important vitamins and minerals. If you can't find red quinoa, regular quinoa will also work just fine in this recipe, however, the red variety has additional antioxidants, which we can all benefit from.

Speaking of complete protein, this recipe also features raw hemp seeds - another plant-based protein-rich superfood containing all 9 essential amino acids and a nicely balanced array of omega 3, 6, and 9 omega fatty acids. Good for the brain, joints, and skin!

And since no salad is complete without a good dressing, this tabbouleh salad also comes with a delicious and creamy raw sesame tahini dressing made with fresh garlic and a hint of cumin. If you've not yet experienced our Dastony raw sesame tahini, it is truly the perfect base for tahini dressings and sauces of all flavors and varieties. It is already ultra-smooth thanks to our low-temperature stone grinding process, which means you won't need a blender to ensure your dressing is perfectly clump-free. The dynamic flavor combination of the tahini with the tabbouleh just can't be topped - hearty, filling, and refreshing all at the same time. It really is the perfect summer meal. 

Red Quinoa Salad with Fresh Tahini Dressing 

The Recipes

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Fresh Tahini Sauce

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side

Ingredients

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well (will be 3 cups cooked)

1/2 large, or 1 small English cucumber

1-pint cherry tomatoes halved, or 3 Roma tomatoes chopped

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup chopped mint

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup raw hemp seeds

1/3 cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil (hemp seed oil also works!)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Black pepper to taste


Fresh Tahini Dressing


1/2 cup Dastony sesame tahini

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced

1/4 tsp Himalayan salt (or more to taste)

Several pinches of ground cumin

6 tablespoons of water, or more to your desired consistency


Steps

Quinoa salad 

1. Prep your quinoa by rinsing and straining thoroughly while bringing 2 cups of water and a few pinches of salt to a full boil in a medium saucepan. Once water is boiling, add 1 cup of quinoa and reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is done - about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluff. 

2. While quinoa is cooling, whisk lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside to let flavors marinate. 

3. Add quinoa to a large serving bowl, and add chopped cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions. Mix well. Pour olive oil and lemon mixture over salad and season with more salt and pepper if desired. 
 
Tahini Dressing
 
1. Simply mix ingredients together in a bowl with fork, spoon, or whisk. Add water gradually for the smoothest results.  

The salad can be prepped a day in advance - perfect for your next picnic!