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)
- Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
- Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.
- 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.
- Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then fold in the remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper, to taste.
I'm sending this over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays.