Zested Lime Cilantro Quinoa Salad


My 2010 New Year's resolution was to eat more grains. Now that it's close to the mid-year mark, my assessment of personal success is somewhat mixed. Have I been trying out new grains? Yes, from red quinoa, millet, wheat berries, buckwheat to amaranth, check, check and check. But eating a variety of grains consistently, well I'm afraid that's one criteria that I haven't fulfilled. I do have another half year ahead of me, don't I?


Perhaps having a small but good collection of simple recipes on hand will make this resolution much more palatable. One of the most versatile grains readily available in the states is quinoa. Technically, quinoa is a seed, one that is indigenous to South America, and has grown wildly popular in America. It cooks quickly and with as little effort and time as it takes to whip up a splashy salad dressing, you can you have a nutrious and delicious side dish.


I was hesitant about this recipe, concerned that the lime zest would be bitter. I'm pleased to report that I was wrong. The dressing in this recipe is bright but tame, I'm sure that the two tablespoons of butter didn't hurt. When combined with a variety of herbs and a vegetables, the salad strikes a well-rounded balance that celebrates the flavors of summer.


Zested Lime and Cilantro Quinoa Salad Recipe
(adapted from Gourmet Sept. 2007)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup corn kernals, frozen or canned
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (optional)
Method
  1. Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.
  3. Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, fold in the corn kernals, and it stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then fold in the remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper, to taste.
Serves 4.

I'm sending this over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays.

56 comments:

Simply Life said...

what a perfect summer recipe!

Claudia said...

I had the same New Year's resolution - and followed through but not consistently. I am loving this fresh sparkling salad and will make it - tonight!

high low said...

This recipe is great b/c I have everything on hand. Do you think I can get away with removing the butter and sugar? Also, what sieve do you use (I've washed quinoa by hand and it's such a pain!)

Beth said...

I love quinoa salad at a cookout but I've never tried one myself. Thanks for the recipe!

lululu said...

My husband is such an anti-grain. And so it limits my choice for cooking. Quinoa is one of the grains that I would love to convince my husband to try. Too many great recipes out there,just like yours.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

High Low - Thanks for your question. I think that you may be able to get away with omitting half of the butter, but not the sugar, these two ingredients help to round out the bite.

I have an All-Clad fine mesh sieve to rinse the quinoa, as pictured in the link "Wash quinoa" in the post. Sometimes, I just place the grains into a tall bowl, stir with a spoon, pour out the excess water and repeat 4-5 times. I hope this helps!

Christine

kat said...

Quinoa makes such a wonderful salad. I like to use it in bread too

3 hungry tummies said...

I just bought 2 packets of quinoa, looking forward to using this wonderful grain for the first time. The salad looks so wholesome!

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Quinoa salad looks fabulous. I should give this easy recipe a try. I am a big fan of simple and easy recipes. :)

5 Star Foodie said...

A terrific healthy and delicious summer salad!

Chef E said...

This just screams refreshing!

I need to pick up quinoa- not sure why I forget about it, when I love it so much and made red and regular all the time in my cafe!

I am squeezing lime on everything right now!

Kim said...

A great healthy summer salad!

Bridgett said...

Kudos to you for keeping your resolution! It sounds like you have really expanded your horizon on grains and really went all out. Your photos, as usual, are stunningly clear and capture the subjects perfectly. You really have a photographic gift.
The salad sounds delicious and I love the brightness the lime would give this salad. Perfect!

Nadji said...

Avec tout ce que tu as mis dedans + le croquant du quinoa, cette salade doit être délicieuse.
A bientôt.

Denise @ Creative Kitchen said...

Love quinoa!! This recipe looks like one I need to try. Thanks for sharing!!

nancy at good food matters said...

I love quinoa--its texture, nutlike flavor, and simplicity of preparation. I recently made a batch that also combined roasted corn, leeks, and tomatoes--so good!

One tip--after rinsing, but before cooking in liquid, I lightly toast the quinoa in the skillet--brings out more of its intrinsic "nuttyness."

Joanne said...

I adore quinoa. It is one of my favorite grains! This salad looks like the perfect way to enjoy it. Fresh delicious flavors.

Where is that picture of all of the grains taken? Is it at a store nearby here?

Dolce said...

To me, quinoa is the "vegetable couscous"! It's healthier than semolina and cooks very fast too.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Joanne - Thanks for your question. I hate to disappoint you, and do so on two levels, but that picture was taken in San Francisco at Rancho Gordo's bean stand. Also, there are no grains pictured. I know how what you're thinking - how mischieveous of me. :)

Angie's Recipes said...

That's a very healthy and the more important, yummy salad!

Sara said...

This looks so yummy and light and summery! Perfect with a crisp white wine! Delish! I'm going to have to try this one soon...it's starting to get hot here!

Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog said...

I’m putting in practice a similar resolution with more dried fruits and when I can quinoa but few times..
Your salad recipe is very refreshing and healthy too :)

Cheers,

Gera

Taj Acosta said...

I've never had quinoa! I need to get with the program, this looks so healthy and good! I am loving your photos too! xoxo

Sanura said...

I still have a box of quinoa in my pantry. It's interesting this grain remains me corn. I'll remember this recipe for the near future.

lostpastremembered said...

Love that quinoa... it is great with any addition and that lime zest addition is perfect. great recipe, Christine!

Barbara said...

Well aren't we are on the same wave length?? :)

tasteofbeirut said...

I have yet to try quinoa, but i love your salad! I eat so much bulgur I am thinking of maybe substituting until my supply of bulgur is down a bit~

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

a comfort and healthy salad!

bellini valli said...

All the flavours of summer in one tasty salad!!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Eating more grains is a great goal! I share it with you. This is a beautiful nutritious and delicious looking salad. I love salads like this. They are so satisfying and I feel nourished and healthy after eating them - which is a really good feeling... and what one should possibly always feel after eating food!
:)
Valerie

Shannon said...

what a fabulous summer dish! and those pictures... i need to get to the farmers market :)

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Love ur stunning pics and this delightfully refreshing recipe too!!

Yasmeen said...

Wonderful!the lime zest adds so much more flavor to the salad :D

Lori Lynn said...

Me too. But I've been challenged with quinoa. This recipes sounds like a winner.
LL

Cocina Savant said...

Simply perfect. You captured the perfect beginning to a meal sitting on the porch with a nice glass of wine enjoying the weather. Quinoa is truly a joy that I wish I had not only discovered a few months ago. Great combination of flavors.

sophia said...

I like your new year resolution, esp because I am surrounded by carbphobic people...which drives me crazy because grains are SO nutritious!

I have not tried much quinoa dishes yet. The last few dishes I tried with quinoa was an epic fail. This seems easy and tasty enough! :-)

Ravenous Couple said...

quinoa is something we'll have to try to cook with as it seems so good and healthy too

Stella said...

Hey Christine, I have some red and wild black quinoa, so I'm going to try this salad with them. They taste the same as white, so it should be great...

Lori said...

What a nice, refreshing twist on quinoa. It sounds like you are doing pretty well with your grain goal and there is lots of time left in the year to experiement! :) I love that photo of the tomatoes. Beautiful!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I do share the same frustration with lululu. My husband will only do so many grains - brown rice is about his limit. So if I make quinoa, it's all for me. But I love it! This sounds great. And that photo of kumquats makes me hungry.

Cinnamon-Girl said...

What a lovely salad! So fresh and vibrant and full of flavor!

alwayswinner786 said...

Great for summer! Fresh and healthy!
Enjoy a lovely weekend!

Debinhawaii said...

I love quinoa and I love grains in salads--this looks delicious, especially with the lime in the dressing.

Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

Pavithra said...

Wow wonderful pictures and lovely quinoa dish..I love it always.. wonderful healthy one.

Lindsey Frances said...

This is just what I should start making for weekday lunches.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

A bit of butter makes everything better!! Glad to read you have added so many whole grains to your meals. This recipe looks fab. Have a wonderful weekend.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I have a bag of quinoa on the shelf just waiting for a good recipe so I'll be giving this a try. Those heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous. We just planted some Cherokee purples.
Sam

Velva said...

What a great summer grain salad. I have only recently discovered quinoa too. I like it. Like most grains, it is so versatile.

Cheers to trying to eat more grains. I am trying too :-)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Good luck with your resolution - with salads like this it shouldn't be difficult to maintain! I'm looking foward to the summer bounty - there are so many wonderful salad combinations using grains.

That's Ron said...

looks delightful...great colours n oh so healty

Trissa said...

If I had to look back over the year, I think I've forgotten all my resolutions! But I think eating grains is a fantastic one. I had no idea quinoa was a seed - I thought it was some sort of rice... see how little I know! Looks very healthy - keep on making food like this and it'll be a walk in the park for you to keep your resolution!

Jamie said...

Yes, we too were going to eat healthier and lighter. We did discover quinoa this year and loved it! This is a must-try salad. Love the fresh, tangy flavors!

MM said...

Saw this on Souper Sundays. Looks excellent and perfect for this time of year. I can't find quinoa in my small town, but next time I get to the city I need to pick some up and try this.

Megan said...

I've only recently begun making quinoa at home. This recipe, with it's fresh, vibrant flavors, is definitely being added to my to-try list.

Samantha @ The Savvy Soybean said...

This looks so vibrant and flavorful! Definitely bookmarking this recipe. Glad I found your blog, it's lovely!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

This is definitely going to be added to my summer repertoire! yum!