I started making this dish back when I was pregnant. It was summer and very hot, and I was super pregnant – so anything I could make without turning the oven on was an instant hit with me. I came across the original recipe from Ina Garten – Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta. But for some reason when I was pregnant the nutty flavor of quinoa was a major aversion for me! So I chose to make the dish with brown rice…. and absolutely loved it. So I’ve stuck with the brown rice version ever since.
I love to make it still since it’s great for a quick lunch option. Being home during the day with the twins I often don’t have much time to prep anything fancy for lunch — I’m already trying to squeeze so many tasks into their nap time (laundry doesn’t do itself!), I don’t have time to make a big lunch. So I like to prepare a big (often double) batch of Brown Rice Tabbouleh with Feta on Sunday and have it for lunch throughout the week. It also makes a great side dish to grilled chicken or fish.
Brown Rice Tabbouleh with Feta
(yield: 8 servings)
3 cups cooked brown rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup olive oil
5 scallions thinly sliced (use both the white and green parts)
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (2 bunches)
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and medium-diced
2.5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved through the stem
2 cups medium-diced feta (8 ounces)
Add brown rice to a medium bowl, and add the lemon juice, olive oil and 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
In a large bowl, combine the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Add the brown rice and mix well. Carefully fold in the feta and taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.