Holy knights of Columbus, we are all moved in. Can I get a heck ya?! Of course, when I say we’re “all moved in,” that means our furniture is in place, prep bowls have found their new home, and towels are in the linen closet, not the living room. It does not mean all of the boxes have been dismantled and we can actually see the inside of our garage. Bwahahahahahaha. Ya, right. I give that another 4
years months weeks.
Amidst the painstaking joys of moving, I haven’t been able to watch The Daily Show or Tosh.O…I feel so disconnected with the world. But I’ve still been cooking. I refuse to let anything interfere with my love of summer food. Which is to say, veggies on the grill and a great grainy salad.
Never had quinoa? Its texture reminds me a little of couscous, with a mild, slightly nutty flavor. The wowza part in this particular salad comes from the cumin and lime commingling, the sweetness from the corn, and the buttery avocado – like a little dance in your mouth with every bite. You know what I’m talking ’bout.
Don’t shy away from the 1 hour meter. A lot of that time is spent just waiting for the ingredients to cool before you can combine it all.
This is summer in a bowl. And I don’t want it to end.
Toasted Quinoa Salad
Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side dish
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper, plus more to taste
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• 1 teaspoon coarse salt
• 1 1/2 cups quinoa
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
• 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• 4 scallions cut into 1/4 inches pieces
• 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
• 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water for at least 45 seconds. Shake the strainer to remove as much water as possible.
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the rinsed quinoa and cook, stirring, over medium heat until it is light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water to the quinoa, and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent, 18 to 20 minutes. Let stand, uncovered, until cool, about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, sprinkle the cumin in a small skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. When the skillet is cool to the touch, add the oil, lime juice, jalapeno, garlic and salt. Transfer to a large bowl, and whisk to blend.
Add the cooled quinoa, corn, tomatoes and scallions to the dressing, and toss to blend.
Spoon the salad onto a large platter, and garnish with the avocado and cilantro.
(another gem from Melissa at Alosha’s Kitchen)