Photograph by Joe Vaughn
“What we’re looking to do at Café ML is really clean, globally inspired food — nothing overcomplicated, but different,” says chef de cuisine Shawn Wright of the new spot in Bloomfield Township. His recipe for tabbouleh reflects that. “It’s a very traditional dish that a lot of people know,” he says. “But we took our different, clean approach to it, adding quinoa and farro. It’s a great, light summer dish.” This version of tabbouleh also has great benefits for vegetarians and vegans because it’s a complete protein, Wright adds, and says it goes great with grilled poultry and seafood.
ML Tabbouleh (Serves 6)
½ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
½ cup farro
1 English cucumber, small diced
3 Roma tomatoes, small diced
¼ cup Spanish onion, small diced
¼ cup flat leaf parsley; rinsed and chopped
3 tablespoons minced chives
Bring quinoa, pinch of salt, and 1 cup to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and let covered quinoa rest for 5 minutes; fluff with fork and cool on baking tray. In a medium saucepan, cover farro with water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes until farro is tender. Cool on baking tray.
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoons minced shallot
For the vinaigrette, place shallot, garlic, champagne vinegar, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. In a large bowl, combine the cool farro, quinoa, cucumber, tomato, onion, flat leaf parsley, and chive. Mix well. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Dress the salad with lemon vinaigrette to taste.
When cooking farro, you might need to add a little water from time to time during the process until the farro is completely cooked. This salad is great to serve on its own as a starter, but it also goes well with grilled poultry and seafood on a summer day. It’s a nice twist on a classic; by adding quinoa, this dish counts as a complete protein, ideal for both vegans and vegetarians.