Thursday, December 07, 2006

this is what all the fuss is about

quinoa salad

I know food trends can get pretty annoying. And one would think the whole quinoa craze would be no different. But I can personally attest that it tastes great and it has like every protein ever discovered or something like that.
Being on the healthy food wagon, I´ve tried different things with quinoa, and so far, I´ve loved it both toasted and boiled in a sort of salad.
I´ll be giving you both choices, though I recommend eliminating the toasting step if you are using strong condiments because it would be overpowering.
My favorite quinoa dish so far is one I sort of invented (in all modesty, of course): it has boiled quinoa (always previously rinsed), a lime-chile vinaigrette from another recipe, feta cheese, tomatoes and ciboulette. The lime-chile vinaigrette is just so rich and intense, yet fresh at the same time. It is originally used with acorn squash, but I had some leftovers and it worked wonders with the quinoa and the rest of the ingredients, so please, try it, either with this dish or with pretty much anything else.

quinoa salad with lime-chile vinagrette

veggie heaven

Lime-chile vinaigrette (adapted from Epicurious)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot red chile, including seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I used cilantro seeds, since I didn´t have fresh cilantro and then added chopped fresh parsley)

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined.

Toasted quinoa (serves 4) (for regular boiled quinoa, skip step 2)

4 cups of quinoa

8 cups of water

1 teaspoon of salt

1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in order to get rid of a natural bitter cover it has. It just takes a few minutes. When the water is clean, you are good to go. Strain it.

2. Toast the quinoa in a pan at medium heat, stirring often for 5 minutes or so.

3. Put the quinoa and the water in a pan and bring to a boild. Reduce heat and let simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is quite puffy, which happens about 15 minutes after the water starts boiling.

4. Mix with the vinaigrette and the rest of the ingredients (a bit of feta cheese, tomato and ciboulette in this case.)


bean said...

Marce, this looks fantastic. Tomato-and-feta salad is one of my favorites (especially in the summer!) - don't know why I never thought to throw some quinoa in! I'm definitely adding this to my list.

Marce said...

Yeah, you should, quinoa has a nice crunch that works really well, and the lime-chile vinaigrette helps bringing all the flavour together. Let me know how it went if you make it.