These past few months of my life have been rife with change. I’ve dissected the delicate bits of the past, gently pinning small nibs of this or that down in my mind and labeling them for future reference. I am moving forward. I’ve tried to embrace new opportunities with uninhibited eagerness and energy. I am ready to plow ahead into a vast and mysterious and hopeful future. I am so ready.
But, I still have days when the past seeps in and muddles things and those tidy labeled pins in my mind are of no help. And, lately my eye won’t stop twitching. (According to Mayo Clinic staff, this is associated with caffeine, alcohol, lack of sleep and stress. Yup. Sounds about right.) When this happens, I want to untangle and emerge from the gloom with gratitude. I have SO much to be grateful for.
Take parsley, for example. Until recently, I had banished it to the garnish category, sitting sad on the sidelines along with chopped chives and cocktail umbrellas. It turns out that parsley is so much better than that. I was recently reading Seamus Mullen’s cookbook, Hero Food, and he claims the little-green-herb-that-could is his secret weapon in his Spanish-inspired dishes. It has anti-inflammatory properties, is packed full of folates, vitamins C and K and iron, and injects dishes with vibrancy and freshness. I’ve started tossing it in smoothies, along with berries, lemon juice and kale. Last week, I made a big pot of quinoa to take to work for weekday lunches and tossed it with parsley, lemon juice, roasted summer squash and cherry tomatoes, shallot and olives for a twist on the traditional tabbouleh salad. I want to believe parsley keeps the eye twitch at bay. No twitching yet today! I think it’s working…
Summer Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
Serves 4 – 6
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa (be sure to rinse it before cooking)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus a bit more for roasted veggies
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 – 4 medium sized summer squash, cut into half moons
- 1 pint Greek olives, pitted
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 bunch mint, chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss summer squash and cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven for 20-30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until browned and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl gently toss roasted squash and tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, olives, shallot, mint and parsley. Stir in cooled quinoa.