Tabouli, with a twist.

I find tabouli to be one of those things you can toy with in many ways and still have it come out scrumptious every time.  With the weather leaping over early spring into what feels like early summer, I have been wanting lighter dinners, like salads.  Tabouli is actually sort of perfect this time of year, as my herb garden is springing back to life, offering fresh mint, parsley and chives. 
Tabouli is a salad that is basically a grain, tossed with olive oil, lemon, parsley and mint, rounded out with vegetables. Traditional tabouli is made with primarly tomatoes, bulghur wheat, onions & garlic. I’ve used a variety of grains, ranging from couscous, quinoa, millet to barley in lieu of bulghur.  Even my traditional tabouli has been known to have some cheese (feta or fresh mozzarella is quite nice), and black olives.
Last week, I was in the mood for some tabouli, but seeing how it’s not tomato season, I felt the urge to get creative with it.  And that is how I came up with ‘Other Side of the Mediterranean Tabouli’.  I plumped up some dried tomatoes with white wine, threw in some marinated artichoke hearts, black olives and feta and tossed it with quinoa, mint, chives, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.  I served it on a bed of arugula, fresh picked from the garden.  A perfect spring dinner.

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