Quinoa salad

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Quinoa is an airy grain that cooks up quickly like couscous, but with just the slightest bit of crunch.  Dating back to the Incas, this grain is still grown in Bolivia and Peru. The small round grains look similar to millet but are pale brown in colour. The taste is mild, and the texture firm and slightly chewy. When cooked, the grains sweeten and become translucent, ringed with white. Quinoa can be cooked like millet; it absorbs twice its volume in liquid. Use it in place of rice in cooked dishes, or serve it as a side dish, in salads or as a stuffing. Alternatively, try it as a substitute for porridge, served hot with cream, dried fruit and brown sugar.You’ll want to cook up extra so you can enjoy it for lunch the next day too!

Ingredients:

1 cup of uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of diced cucumber

1 cup of diced tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped basil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

pinch of sugar

1 clove of garlic, pressed

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

big pinch of salt and pepper each

quinoa salad

Preparation:

Bring the water to a boil and add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and quinoa.  Turn the temperature down to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa has just a slight crunch to it.  If your water evaporates before the quinoa is cooked through, continue to add water a 1/2 cup at a time until the grains are tender.  While it’s cooking, mix up the vinaigrette.

Mix together one clove of garlic that has been pressed or minced, with the zest and juice of a lemon and a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity.  Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking with a fork.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

In a big bowl, combine the quinoa with the vinaigrette, cucumber, tomato, and basil.