Beet and Radish Tabouli

We start with the best of intentions. We read food magazines and flip through cookbooks. We make a menu plan for the week, built around seasonal dinners and healthy brown bag lunches. We stock our pantry, and we head out for the farmers' market . . . only to discover that the onions aren't quite ready, and harlequin beetles got the kale, and the strawberries are tempting us, and tender lettuces have one more week so we better enjoy them, and there are the most gorgeous and unexpected bunches of asparagus . . . and suddenly our best laid plans seem like a distant dream. Never fear--we are here to help! Armed with our cheat sheet and a willingness to be flexible, your recipes--and your weekly menu plan--will be happier than ever.

Interested in a hands-on opportunity to learn how to be more flexible? Join The Happy Kitchen for a Celebrate the Local Box with Greenling cooking class focused on the seasonal and the unexpected! More details and register here »

Scroll down for a tabouli recipe, made seasonal for spring with beets and radishes standing in for the traditional summery tomato and cucumber.


Cooking seasonally means being ready to interchange ingredients for what's available seasonally. For example, if you have Swiss chard on hand, but your recipe calls for spinach, Swiss chard makes a great substitute! Keep in mind that some of the ingredients in each category may differ in moisture content, texture, and flavor, so be ready to tweak your recipe slightly as you go. The following groups can usually be interchanged successfully within recipes.

  • Tender greens (roast, steam, saute, stir-fry, eat raw): chard, spinach, sorrel, lettuce, arugula
  • Hearty greens (braise, saute, stir fry, oven roast): collards, kale, Brussels sprouts greens, cabbage
  • Hearty root vegetables (roast, mash, steam, saute): potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets
  • Brassicas (roast, saute, steam, stir-fry, eat raw in salads): cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
  • Alliums (saute, stir-fry, caramelize, roast, saute, eat raw): onions, garlic, leeks, shallots
  • Crunchy crudites (eat raw): cucumber, radish, beet, carrot
  • Berries (bake, eat raw): strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • Soft fruit (bake, roast, grill, braise, eat raw): peaches, plums, figs, persimmons, melon
  • Crunchy fruit (bake, roast, grill, braise, eat raw): pears, apples


  • 1 c cracked wheat tabouli
  • 1 bunch beets, roasted, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed and diced
  • 1 small bunch parsley, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 small bunch spring onions, cut into thin slices
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Place tabouli in a medium bowl and cover with 1 1/2 c boiling water. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Once all water has been absorbed, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. Place cooled tabouli in a large bowl and add beets, radishes, parsley, and onions. Squeeze lemon juice over all, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss thoroughly. The beet will turn the salad a beautiful brilliant fuschia. Place in a serving bowl and top with feta cheese if desired and drizzle with a little more olive oil.