We’re taking a walk on the wild side today and adding a fruity twist to one of our favorite Middle Eastern inspired summer side dishes! Our Cherry Basil Tabbouleh is packed with unexpected ingredients with superfood status like quinoa, basil, and Stemilt’s succulent dark sweet cherries.

What is tabbouleh?

Traditionally, tabbouleh is a gluten filled, vegetarian salad made up mostly of finely chopped parsley with some tomatoes, mint, onion, and bulgur wheat mixed in then its all seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. Our cherry inspired version is made with quinoa, fresh cherries, cucumber, red onion, lots of basil, and a citrus vinaigrette that really makes the flavors pop! You can serve a classic tabbouleh alongside ALL sorts of meals like Falafel,  Chicken Shawarma, or  Rosemary Lamb Kofta! I personally like this fruit filled tabbouleh all on it’s own wrapped up in a piping hot piece of naan with a sprinkle of feta.

Let’s take a minute to talk about all of the superfood ingredients in this Cherry Basil Tabbouleh!

Quinoa: Since we do our best to avoid gluten, bulgur wheat is absolutely out of the question for us! I have made lots of different variations of tabbouleh over the years by substituting grains like sorghum and millet for the bulgur that is traditionally used, but we think the quinoa in this version with its mild, nutty flavor and light, fluffy texture is our favorite bulgur stand in yet! Quinoa is high in fiber, contains more protein than any other grain, and is also packed with iron and potassium!

Cherries: This stone fruit is known for its anti-inflammatory superpowers! Cherries are packed with anthocyanins, a powerful phytonutrient that jump-starts the immune system and gives cherries that irresistible red hue. Plus, cherries are a great natural source of melatonin, which means eating a handful of them before you go to bed in the evening can help you have a better night’s sleep. We personally love Stemilt’s dark sweet cherries! Stemilt’s founding family, the Mathisons, have been growing cherries for over 100 years and as far as we’re concerned they’re the best. They grow both California and Washington varieties of cherries ensuring perfectly fresh cherries all summer long! Stemilt’s cherries are sweet and juicy with just a hint of acidity and they add the perfect crunch factor to this tabbouleh.

Basil: Basil is an incredible source of antioxidants and is filled with nutrients. Basil presents a wide array of health benefits and is recognized for its exceptional anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-aging properties.

Cucumbers: Don’t forget about cucumbers!! These babies are considered one of the absolute best foods for the health of the skin, joints, liver & kidneys. Plus they’re rich array of phytonutrients and electrolytes makes them  a natural energy tonic!

Besides being incredibly delicious, this Cherry Basil Tabbouleh is super good for you and your entire family, even your kids are going to love it!

Cherry Tabbouleh

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, we like to use multicolored quinoa
  • 2/3 pound Stemilt cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced into thin rounds
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion

Besides being incredibly delicious, this Cherry Basil Tabbouleh is super good for you and your entire family, even your kids are going to love it!

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  • Yield
    4 servings
  • Prep time
  • Total time
  • In Category
    Cherries, Quick & Easy, Salads, Summer, Vegetarian.
  • Level
    Easy

Besides being incredibly delicious, this Cherry Basil Tabbouleh is super good for you and your entire family, even your kids are going to love it!

Instructions

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, orange zest, and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper then mix with a whisk until combined.

In a large bowl combine the quinoa and the dressing. Mix well. Add the Stemilt cherries, cucumbers, basil, and onion to two bowls. Toss to combine then taste. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.