Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is one ingredient that just doesn’t get much love at the restaurants. I don’t know if it’s the fact that people don’t really know what it is, or. I’m not really sure what the stigma is.

Saturday was the St. Dominic Block Party and we had to come up with a side dish to bring, and fast. Our thinking was that everyone was going to bring macaroni salad, different variety of lettuce type salad, etc., so we wanted to bring something different but healthy.

Since Saturday was so cool, we dropped off the quinoa salad and went back home to change. When we got back, we went inside to see if could grab some of our quinoa. After checking the tables twice, it was pretty clear that we were too late – gone in fifteen minutes.

Quinoa is known as the chisiya mama or "Mother of All Grain". This stuff is as versatile as rice, has the best amino acid profile of all grain, gluten free, and is very rich in fiber. When I was in New Jersey I ate at a place that made a killer lobster quinoa. I'm hoping that in the future this is something that shows up on more menus.

This recipe below actually came from Einat Admony’s podcast on quinoa. If you’re ever in Manhattan (West Village) you’ve got to go to her small restaurant called Taïm. Regina swears that it is the best falafel she ever had. Admony offers up a great recipe for quinoa salad.

Quinoa Salad
  • Quinoa 2-3C
  • Chickpeas 1-1/2C
  • Celery (chopped) 1C
  • Scallions (chopped) 1/2C
  • Cilantro (chopped) 1/2C
  • Cranberries (dried) 2 Tbsp
  • Apricots (dried) 4 Tbsp
  • Lemon (fresh squeezed) 2 Tbsp
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tbsp
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Harissa 1 tsp

  1. Boil the quinoa.
  2. Stir and let cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and rinse with cold water.
  4. Add all ingredients and mix well.

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