Damn it. Despite my better efforts at being completely and randomly prejudiced with regards to quinoa based on random associations thereof, I think I like it now.
Again, Damn it.
My lovely sister has been trying to get me to eat this stuff (and other healthy things) for years now.
I guess I should have listened to her sooner.
A few weeks ago, I sent her a request for some of her favorite recipes. The following is a version (slightly modified) of the recipe that she sent me.
The element of this recipe that I find especially interesting is that no single ingredient emerges as the star. Yes, the quinoa is the main ingredient, but each forkful delivers a different variation of textures and flavors, all of which work very well with each other. The textured backbone of the ancient grain is reinforced by the savory herbs, and punctuated by the salty notes of almonds and feta, and the sweet vegetables.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 yellow pepper (or 6 mini sweet peppers), diced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup red onions, diced
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. The sort that I bought calls for 2 cups of water (or stock) for each cup of quinoa. I used 2 cups of quinoa, 2 cups of chicken stock (for some extra flavor) and 2 cups of water.
Let the cooked quinoa rest while preparing the other ingredients.
Dice the peppers and onions so that the chunks are relatively similar sized. I used red onions in my first batch (which my wife casually reported was “too oniony”) and green onions in my second batch (which was more to her taste).
Slice the grape tomatoes in half.
Chop the parsley and cilantro together, again, to roughly the same size.
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. I used almonds in place of sunflower seeds, which were in Caitlin’s original recipe, mostly because I had almonds in the pantry. This illustrates one of the nice features of this salad, in that it’s a very forgiving mix, so you can add (more or less) whatever you like without really messing it up!
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve at room temperature, or chilled, and enjoy!