Thursday, June 02, 2011

Red Quinoa Salad with Mint & Shallot Vinaigrette

 I have never used quinoa (pronounce keen-wah) before but I have always wanted to try it.  Verdict?  Delicious!  Originally I found this salad recipe and it called for red rice - but I couldn't find it in the store so I got red quinoa instead.  I knew the quinoa was a rice substitute of sorts and it is a grain-like crop, but it is very high in protein and gluten-free. I am looking forward to using it in many other recipes!  This salad can be served hot or cold - and I ended up serving it somewhat lukewarm, and it was great!  The dressing has great flavor with the combination of mint and shallot (two of my absolute favorites!) and the combination of quinoa and cucumbers gives it a nice, fresh, light crunch.  I made this for Memorial Day when my parents came to visit us, along with chicken and veggie kabobs, fresh corn on the cob and watermelon.  It is a perfect summer or anytime dish!  Enjoy! :)

 Red Quinoa Salad with Mint & Shallot Vinaigrette
§  1 cup red quinoa, cooked to package instructions
§  1 cup diced cucumbers
§  1/4 cup chopped parsley
§  1/4 cup chopped mint leaves, or even more to your specific taste
Shallot Dressing:
§  3 large shallots, minced
§  3 medium garlic cloves, crushed or minced and crushed w/ side of knife
§  4 Tablespoons olive or grape seed oil
§  2 teaspoons sugar
§  2  Tablespoons soy sauce
§  1 teaspoon sesame oil
§  1/4 teaspoon salt
§  1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
§  1 Tablespoon lemon juice
§  fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1. Cook 1 cup of red quinoa according to package instructions. You will know when it is done because the "curly germ" will appear.  Allow to cool.
2. In sauce pan over medium-low heat add only 2 tablespoons of oil and cook shallots and garlic until a light golden brown or until fragrant. Immediately remove from heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, vinegar, lemon juice and cracked black pepper. Stir till sugar dissolves and all ingredients are mixed together. Put aside to marinade further while you prepare vegetables and herbs.
3. Dice cucumbers and mince parsley (or cilantro) and mint.
4. After quinoa has completely cooled, toss in cucumbers, chopped herbs and shallot dressing. Eat immediately or chill in refrigerator. Before eating, toss everything in bowl again before serving.
5. For a warm red quinoa dish, toss cucumbers and herbs with warm quinoa. Heat up dressing in sauce pan till warm and toss with quinoa. Serve immediately.
6. Makes about 4 cups of cooked quinoa. Serves 4-6.  

Source: adapted from White on Rice Couple 

No comments: