I start off by rinsing 1/2 cup of quinoa in cool water and letting it drain well. Then I slice up 1 beautiful yellow sunburst squash into 12 uniform wedges, like so.
I bring 1 cup of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil, stir in the quinoa and squash slices, and cover and simmer for 15 minutes. After that, I check to make sure the all the water has been absorbed, turn off the heat, and let the quinoa come to room temperature. In the meantime, I assemble the rest of my ingredients, which include 1 medium kohlrabi, 1 thin, dark green Anaheim pepper, 1 large or two medium radishes, 1 pickling cucumber (or you can substitute 1 Persian cucumber if you prefer), 1-2 fresh shallots (they resemble purple scallions and can be difficult to find, so feel free to substitute regular scallions instead), and 1/2 cup of shelled raw walnuts.
First I toast the walnuts in a heated, dry frying pan for about 5 minutes. Then I peel the kohlrabi, and using a sharp knife, I cut it into match-like "julienne" sticks, like this. There are tools that will do this as well, but I love to slice and dice -- I find it very relaxing!
Next I cut the cucumber in half, lengthwise, and slice it (skin on) into thin semi-circles. I similarly cut the radish lengthwise into quarters, and slice it into thin quarter-circles, and I slice the pepper into very thin ringlets, removing any seeds. I also slice and dice the fresh shallot, including most of the green part, and I coarsely chop the toasted walnuts.
I sprinkle a bit of salt on the vegetables to enhance their flavor, and then, in a large bowl, I combine the cooked quinoa and squash with all the chopped vegetables and the toasted walnuts. I toss everything together gently, and then I add about 3 tablespoons of really good extra virgin olive, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and about a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest. Then I mix in a handful of well-chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, and season the dish with Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper (optional).
A healthy serving of Earthy Quinoa Tabbouleh for lunch totally hits the spot, but it also makes a great dinner side dish, and you can easily double or triple the recipe for a larger group. Enjoy!