Quinoa Tabouli With Pomegranates & Pistachios

Recipe By:  The Moosewood Collective
Quinoa Tabouli with Pomegranates and Pistachios
Total Time:  50 minutes

Try this recipe for Quinoa Tabouli With Pomegranates & Pistachios from The Moosewood Restaurant Table cookbook.

Toasted quinoa, beautiful pomegranate seeds, and toasted pistachios—that’s a whole lotta crunch. Not just a workout for the jaws, this salad is also a refreshing, healthful treat with the traditional tabouli seasonings of olive oil, parsley, lemon, and mint, plus the high-protein benefits of gluten-free quinoa! Toasting the quinoa is really worth the extra ten minutes because it yields a wheat-like aroma and adds warmth, a nutty richness, and a lovely light brown color to the salad.

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp finely minced fresh mint, or 1 tbsp crushed dried mint
  • 1½ cups finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp minced preserved lemon (recipe below) or 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 to 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

Spiced Preserved Lemons

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 4 to 6 organic lemons
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh lemon juice (from 6 to 8 lemons)

*Thin-skinned lemons work best. According to the size, use the number needed to fill the canning jar. Wash a quart canning jar and lid in very hot soapy water, rinse with boiling water, and set aside to drain.

Directions Yield:  Serves 6

Spiced Preserved Lemons

  1. In a small heavy skillet on medium heat, toast the coriander, cumin, fennel, and peppercorns for about a minute. While the spices cool, quarter the lemons, leaving the stems intact. Briefly grind the cooled spices in a spice grinder, just to crush (not to a powder) and then mix with the salt. Cover the lemons with the spice-salt mixture and press them into the jar so that some of the juice emerges. Slide the bay leaves into the jar alongside the lemons.
  2. Pour lemon juice over the salted lemons until they are covered. The amount will vary according to the size and juiciness of the lemons. Cap and store in a dark, cool place.
  3. Shake the jar several times a week for 4 to 6 weeks. The salt will extract juice from the lemons and soften the rinds. After 4 weeks, taste a snippet of lemon. Cured lemons should be soft and pliable throughout the rind: “cured.”
  4. Refrigerate the preserved lemons and use within 6 months.


  1. In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse and drain the quinoa.
  2. In a dry skillet on medium heat, toast the quinoa, stirring frequently, until it darkens to a golden brown and gives off a pleasant fragrance, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Carefully pour in the toasted quinoa (not all at once because it will bubble up and sputter). Simmer, covered, until the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, cut open the pomegranate and remove the seeds. Set the seeds aside.
  4. When the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork and put it in a mixing bowl. Stir in the oil, scallions, mint, parsley, preserved lemon or lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the garlic, and the pomegranate seeds. Season with salt and pepper and additional lemon juice to taste. Just before serving, stir in the chopped pistachios or sprinkle them on top.


Excerpted from The Moosewood Restaurant Table by The Moosewood Collective. Photographs by Al Karevy. Copyright 2017. Excerpted with permission from the publisher St. Martin’s Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.