Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quinoa Salad

I learned this recipe from my dear alkalizing friend, Fiona. The 'salad" resembles a rice salad, but oh, so much better. Quinoa ("keen-wa") is a grain that doesn't get soggy with dressing.

1c quinoa (dry)
1tsp sea salt
4 TBL olive oil
1/2 - 1 onion (depending on how much raw onion you like)
1 clove finely chopped garlic (optional)
1 chopped tomato
1/2 chopped english cucumber (deseed it first- see note below)
1/2 bunch finey sliced or grated radishes
1 small block of sheep feta cheese (opt)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro and/or basil and/or tarragon and/or mint (it depends on the flavors you like that day.)

Cook Quinoa:
First put quinoa in a sieve and rinse well, massaging it as the water flows over it. Quinoa has bitter flavor if not washed first.
Put in a pan with 2c water and 1 tsp sea salt.
Bring to boil on HIGH heat. Cover. Then turn to LOW heat on the smallest burner.
Cook for 15 minutes. Take off lid and fluff with fork to let cool.

As quinoa is cooking.
In serving platter/bowl put in olive oil. Finely chop onion and garlic(if using) and put into olive oil. Stir it around so they flavor the olive oil, which becomes the dressing.

De-seed the long english cucumber by 1)peeling, 2) cut in 1/2 the long way, 3) cut in 1/2 the short way, 4) with a spoon just scrape out the seeds.

Finely chop the cucumber and tomato. Thinly slice or grate the radishes. You can really add any raw veg, cut fine, you want to add flavor! Chop the feta, if using, into tiny, tiny pieces so you get lots of little pieces of white in the salad. Add finely chopped herbs.

Put quinoa on top of olive oil/onion/garlic (opt) dressing and let cool without stirring just yet.

Then put all the chopped veg and herbs on top, while the quinoa cools. Although you can do this all straight away if you need to serve it! Its great slightly warm too.

Finally, Stir all at the last minute to give the onions enough time to aromatize the dressing (this is an old Italian trick I learned from my friend Giuseppe!)

Serve! Bring it on a a picnic and you'll not have to worry about bringing home any leftovers! Even kids like this one.

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