Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Quinoa Salad with chickpeas, lemon and mint

Image from original recipe posting on Food52
Serves 4-6

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 a large shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
3 cups cooked quinoa (from 1 cup uncooked)
1 stalk celery, in 1/4 -inch dice
1/4 cup raisins
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup finely sliced mint leaves
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped.

In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, shallot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and let stand while you pull together the rest of the dish.
Add the quinoa, chickpeas, celery, raisins, mint and olives, if using. Toss together.
Taste for seasoning and add remaining salt and pepper, or maybe lemon juice, if needed.
Serve at room temperature or place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
If serving from the refrigerator, let it sit for a few minutes to shake off the chill - this salad is best at room temperature.

Recipe from Food52.

Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple, and Dried Cranberries

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (any other grain will do as well. I used farro)
1 1/2 cups water, for quinoa
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, de-skinned and chopped (or use any nuts you have - I used almond slivers and raw cashews)
1 bunch (about 5 to 6) green onions, chopped (green parts only)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped * see note
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, thoroughly rinsed and chopped
1 gala apple (really, any kind of apple will do)
1 large lemon, juiced
Generous drizzle of any kind of oil (I like hazelnut)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to 325F and toast your hazelnuts for about 7-10 minutes. Let them cool completely. You should begin to hear their skins crackle while cooling; this is a good sign!  Skip this step if you don't use hazelnuts.
  2. Meanwhile, cook your quinoa. Importantly, rinse it well! Boil the water with a pinch of salt, and add your rinsed quinoa. Turn your stove down to medium-low and let it cook for roughly 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork, and let it cool in the fridge. 
  3. Going back to the cooled, toasted hazelnuts; remove the skins. Chop the hazelnuts up, leaving them in large pieces. Skip this step if you don't use hazelnuts.
  4. Preheat a skillet with 1 tbsp of oil and soften your finely chopped onion and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Try not to brown them, 5 to 7 minutes on medium - low heat should do the trick. Set aside in a large salad bowl. 
  5. Rinse your parsley well and chop it finely followed by your dried cranberries and green onions. Add all this to the onion and celery mixture. 
  6. Core and dice the apple, put your apple chunks in the bowl with the other ingredients. Squeeze the entire lemon over the apple to season the salad and prevent the apple from turning brown. 
  7. Add your quinoa and hazelnuts to the mixture, drizzle with the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Season with more lemon juice if you like. Mix well and cool completely. Allow the flavors to meld for 20 minutes before serving! 
Recipe is from Food52. They recommend using good quality dried cranberries. Craisins work but they tend to turn the salad a pinkish hue after a few hours, and may be too sweet.