June 9, 2011

Cold Quinoa Salad

Slowly but steadily, quinoa is making its way onto my kitchen table more and more these days. It's not a daily staple because right now my husband won't touch it. And I don't think it will take over the staple white basmati rice that we eat.  I can't imagine a quinoa biriyani or a chicken fried quinoa. Just even saying it (or typing it) feels weird.  Nonetheless, I think quinoa has its place in cold and warm salads, porridge, and some baked goods.  

I haven't had any experience baking with quinoa flour as yet, but I have been inspired by some of the recipes in the Quinoa 365 cookbook that is sitting on my shelf.  One of these days I WILL get to it and bake with quinoa flour and share my success and/or failure with you.

This quinoa salad was inspired from 101 Cookbooks blogger Heidi Swanson's Quinoa with Currants, Dill and Zucchini recipe that made its way into my inbox a few weeks ago.  As soon as I saw her beautiful pictures, I knew I had to make a version of it right then and there.

I improvised her recipe by using red quinoa instead of white, swapped the dill for coriander, used green zucchinis instead of yellow, added kalonji or black onion seeds instead of the sesame seeds,  and removed the currants completely. 

Cold Quinoa Salad

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 teaspoons table salt
1 cup  red quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 cups water
3 key limes
2 small green zucchini,washed and grated on a grater
2 tablespoons kalonji or black onion seeds
half-bunch of coriander, washed thoroughly and drained

Heat up the olive oil in a medium-large sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add in 2/3 of the green onions and cook until the onions have softened a bit. Add in the quinoa, and salt and "toast" the quinoa kernels. Add in the water and bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring occasionally. Let the mixture boil for a minute or so before turning the heat down to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook the quinoa until all of the water has been absorbed. This can take from 12-15 minutes. 

While the quinoa is cooking, grate the zucchini, zest and juice the key limes and set aside.  When the quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and add in the zucchini, lime zest and juice, the black onion seeds and coriander.  Scoop out the quinoa salad into a serving bowl and sprinkle the rest of the green onions, a few coriander leaves and some black onion seeds on top. You can serve it immediately or put into the fridge to cool before serving.

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