Sunday, September 04, 2011

QUINOA: I love it, I hate it

Here's the thing. I love quinoa (and everybody should love it because it's tasty and whole-grainy and so good for you), but it vexes me because I can't seem to cook it properly! I follow recipe directions carefully, but it always seems to come out too wet and gloppy, unless I then throw it in the oven to dry out/crisp up. If any readers have any tips for me, PLEASE leave them in comments. Nevertheless, though my latest batch of quinoa came out a little goopy, I still managed to fashion it into a fresh and lemony side salad that I highly recommend you try, especially while summer vegetables are still plentiful in your local markets.

Additional thoughts: The tomato I used was awfully ripe, and I guess I chopped it too finely, as it practically dissolved after a few tossings (you can just see some large red flecks in the picture above). So before serving, I cut up a handful of cherry tomatoes and threw some of those into each portion. I also think some diced or shredded cucumber would be good in this, but I didn't have any on hand.

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
juice of two lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse the quinoa several times to remove to sticky outer coating. Add the stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Combine the cooked quinoa with the drained chickpeas,diced onions, minced garlic, ...chopped tomato, dried oregano, and fresh parsley. In a separate bowl, whisk the mustard and lemon juice. Add the olive oil slowly, whisking briskly the whole time. Add 3/4 of the vinaigrette to the salad, some salt and pepper, and stir gently to combine. Chill for several hours.

Before serving, taste to correct seasoning, and add the rest of the vinaigrette if needed.

1 comment:

Patricia said...

I am not sure about quinoa but I soak my rice in water over night. Each grain comes out without it all being a sticky mess. I hate when grains are a glob of goo. ughn This may solve your problem. ;+) Patricia