Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Easy Quinoa Salad

An easy, healthy, and delicious springtime side dish that complements just about anything.

Olive oil
1 tbsp chopped red spring onion (or sub shallot)
1 tbsp chopped green garlic (or sub 1 clove garlic, pressed)
1/2 cup quinoa
3/4 cups chicken and/or veggie broth
4 oz baby arugula
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the quinoa well in a mesh strainer and let soak in cold water for 15-30 minutes, then rinse and drain well. (This removes the bitter saponins so the quinoa tastes sweeter. A lot of the quinoa sold in supermarkets is now prewashed so that you can skip this step, but some of the fair-trade quinoa still seems to taste better if you have time to soak it first. The liquid measurements here assume you've soaked the quinoa—if not, cook according to the package directions.)

Heat olive oil in a smallish pot over medium heat. Add the onion and green garlic and saute, stirring, until they soften (about 2-3 minutes). Add the quinoa, stir, and then add the broth. Cover, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa has unspiraled and the liquid is absorbed. Uncover and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, heat a small pot over medium-low heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer very gently until the liquid is reduced by half (don't stand over the pot or you'll get a nose full of vinegar). Remove from the heat.

Toss the arugula with a spoonful of good-quality olive oil. Add the quinoa and toss together (the arugula will wilt a bit from the warmth of the quinoa). Drizzle with balsamic reduction, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, toss once more, and serve.

Serves 2.

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