Fennel Tabuli Salad

I love the Middle Eastern Tabuli (or tabbouleh) salad. It is one of my favorite summer dishes. Originally the salad is made from a mix of bulgur, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion, parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It is a feast of color, texture and flavor, and it is also very nourishing. Today there are many versions of the salad; some replace the traditional bulgur with rice, wheat berries, or quinoa, some completely change the vegetable content of it. 

Traditional Tabuli

A few weeks ago I had Fennel Tabuli at The London Plane café in Seattle. It was a nice twist of the old familiar salad that I had to go home and try to make it myself.  At the restaurant they used a mixture of quinoa and wheat, in my recipe I decided to use only quinoa. The reason for this was to simplify it and make it friendlier for people with wheat allergies. I use several herbs in the salad; if you don’t have/like one of them in particular you can add more of the one you like. The salad has pumpkin seeds that can be substituted with any other preferred seeds or chopped nuts. 

The London Plane's Fennel Tabuli


1 cup quinoa
1 big chopped fennel
1 lemon
½ cup chopped green onion
½ cup chopped mint leaves
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped dill
½ cup pumpkin seeds (raw or toasted)
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water and salt. Bring to boil, and then reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot, and let cook for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

In a bowl mix chopped fennel with salt, pepper and juice of one lemon. Let it sit together for about 10 minutes. 

Add herbs, pumpkin seeds, cooked quinoa (about 2 cups), and olive oil. Mix ingredients together and check if salad needs more salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving so all the flavors are incorporated together.  

The London Plane

Located at Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle, it is a café, bakery, bar, grocery store, gift, wine, and flower shop.  The food is fresh and unique. Each time I eat there I am inspired to go home and try to recreate what I had. Their salad bar is very creative, delicious and vegan friendly. I hope they will publish a cook book soon. The London Plane 300 & 322 Occidental Ave. S.Seattle, WA 98104. 206-624-1374.

If you have any tabuli recipes you like, I’d love to hear from you: