Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mostly Plants in a Hurry: Quinoa Salad

Let's face it. Quinoa, when eaten plain, gets a little too quinoa-y about halfway through the plate. Salad, meanwhile, just goes on and on, leaf after increasingly boring leaf. But when you put the two together...

...there's no other word for it. Magic.

1/2 cup quinoa (white and/or red), rinsed well* (or sub 1 1/2 cups leftover cooked quinoa)
2/3 cups broth
1 or 2 medium or hardboiled eggs, sliced (or sub 6 quail eggs, boiled for just under 3 minutes)
2 handfuls chopped mizuna (or sub spinach or mixed baby greens)
2 handfuls baby arugula (or sub chopped arugula)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little grated carrot or beet (optional)

Drain the quinoa well. Combine with the broth in a pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff and decant into a dish to cool (stick it in the fridge to cool faster, or make it a little bit ahead of just want it to be warm or room temperature rather than hot).

Meanwhile, boil the egg(s), if you're not using leftovers from some earlier egg-cooking extravaganza.

Whisk the olive oil and vinegar together in a bowl, then stir in the mustard, parsley, a couple pinches of salt, and pepper to taste. 

Pour half the dressing over the mixed greens and toss to coat evenly. Add the quinoa, drizzle the rest of the dressing over it, and toss well. (If it seems a little dry, you can add a bit more olive oil.) Arrange on plates, garnish with egg and a little grated carrot and/or beet if desired, and serve.

Serves 2 for a light lunch, or pair with fresh bread and some chickpea spread or cheese for a complete dinner.

*If you have time, soak in cold water for 15 minutes to remove any lingering saponins (they're what make quinoa bitter). Supposedly, nowadays quinoa already has the saponins mostly removed, which makes soaking unnecessary, but I still tend to do it if I have a few extra minutes -- it seems to make the quinoa a little sweeter and more tender. If you do this, you can reduce the liquid slightly to 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp.

1 comment:

  1. WONDERFUL light dinner. Used balsamic vinegar, added black beans and cherry tomatoes instead of the eggs. Quite delightful. Thanks Alison!