06/27/2012 02:50 EDT | Updated 08/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Middle Eastern tabbouleh takes interesting spin using walnuts, soy sauce, allspice

Here is an interesting spin on a popular Middle Eastern mezze staple that's a great way to mark the arrival of summer. This tabbouleh recipe combines traditional flavours of parsley and mint with an eastern touch of soy and allspice. Replacing traditional veggies with toasted walnuts adds crunch.

Walnut Tabbouleh

1 small sweet potato

45 ml (3 tbsp) walnut or olive oil

250 ml (1 cup) pomegranate juice

Pinch allspice

500 ml (2 cups) walnut pieces, toasted

500 ml (2 cups) quinoa, cooked and cooled

1 shallot, minced

500 ml (2 cups) parsley, finely chopped

75 ml (1/3 cup) mint, chopped

15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce

Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Cut sweet potato into 1-cm (1/2-inch) cubes and toss with 15 ml (1 tbsp) walnut or olive oil. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on the centre rack for 20 minutes until light golden brown. Let cool.

In a medium frying pan over high heat, combine pomegranate juice and allspice and bring to a boil. Simmer and reduce to 50 ml (1/4 cup) until lightly syrupy. Let cool.

In a large bowl, mix walnuts, quinoa, shallot, parsley, mint and soy sauce; add sweet potato and pomegranate juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 439 calories; 10 g protein; 33 g fat (3 g saturated fat); 31 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre; 382 mg sodium.

Tips: Quinoa can be replaced with brown rice, cracked wheat or couscous.

Source: California Walnuts,