Exotic Middle Eastern flavours inspire tabbouleh salad

CBC Manitoba hosts live cooking demonstrations with downtown Winnipeg chefs at the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Farmers' Market every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in August.

DIY cooking demo by Merchant Kitchen at Downtown Farmers' Market

Chef Beau Schell from the Merchant Kitchen delicately plates samples of his Manitoba produce-inspired tabbouleh salad. (Gabriela Klimes/CBC)

Downtown Winnipeg can help you get creative with your lunch box this summer.

Downtown Winnipeg Farmers' Market chefs are teaming up with CBC Manitoba to serve up DIY cooking demos on Thursdays this month.

Earlier today, executive chef Beau Schell from the Merchant Kitchen taught market shoppers how to chop and assemble delicious, locally harvested ingredients. The lead taste tester for this cooking demonstration was CBC Manitoba's Ismaila Alfa, host of Up to Speed on CBC Radio One 89.3 FM.

The best way to prepare any herb is to pick it [instead of chopping] and remove as much of your stems as possible. ...Parsley is the staple ingredient of a tabbouleh  .- Chef Beau Schell, the Merchant Kitchen

Schell prepared a Manitoba quinoa tabbouleh salad, a dish inspired by the flavours of Middle Eastern cooking.

Fresh parsley and mint accompanied by fluffy grains are mixed with fresh lemon.

All of the ingredients in this recipe can be purchased from vendors at the downtown Winnipeg farmers market.

Cooking demonstrations take place live at the farmers market from the corner of Portage Avenue and Edmonton Street, but can also be watched via live stream on Facebook and at cbc.ca/manitoba.

Each 30-minute demonstration starts at 11:30 a.m. and is followed by a repeat demonstration at 12:30 p.m.

A limited number of samples are available for tasting.

Manitoba quinoa tabbouleh salad

Featuring garden variety Manitoba vegetables and herbs, seasoned in a bright and fresh lemon dressing.

Things to find at the market:

  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Pita


  • 2 bunches of parsley.
  • 1 bunch green onion.
  • 1 bunch of mint.
  • 2 tomatoes.
  • ½ cucumber (seeded).
  • 1 lemon.
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil.
  • ¼ cup quinoa (any colour).
  • ½ cup water or broth.
  • Salt to taste (for the quinoa).


  1. Rinse the quinoa in water for five to 10 minutes, which removes any saponin that is on the outside of the grain.
  2. In a small pot, toast the quinoa in olive oil on medium heat for one minute.
  3. Add water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Fluff with a fork.
  5. Season to taste and allow to cool completely.
  6. Dice both tomatoes and cucumber.
  7. Rough chop the parsley and mint and add to the tomatoes and cucumber mixture. 
  8. Cut the green onions and add to the mint and parsley mixture.
  9. Add the cooled quinoa.
  10. Squeeze a lemon over the salad.
  11. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve with pita or naan bread.
CBC Manitoba hosts live cooking demonstrations with downtown Winnipeg chefs at the Downtown Winnipeg Farmers' Market every Thursday in August. (Nix Calma illustration/Downtown Winnipeg BIZ)