I've been a fan of quinoa for a couple of years and always get a chuckle when people trip over the pronunciation (KEEN-wah)...and I'm amazed that even good cooks don't realize how much seasoning and flavor it needs. Quinoa needs fat/acid/spice. If you see a recipe that only calls for 2 T of lemon juice (Bon Appetit June 2012, p. 105), know that you are going to need to "doctor it up"...Sorry BA! You wouldn't just eat a bowl of steamed white rice....so be prepared to dice a little, mix up an interesting vinagrette and then be wholly satisified that you are eating a "Superfood", an ancient grain, a top 100 food of 2012, etc, etc.... —lorigoldsby
1 1/2 cups
watercress or other green (like parsley or cilantro)
mini red, yellow orange peppers, diced (or use 1/2 each of red, yellow, orange bell peppers)
heirloom cherry tomatoes, diced
cucumber, seeded and diced
flavored olive oil ( I used a harissa flavored one)
orange champagne vinegar (I used the one from trader joes)
Boil quinoa in 1 1/2 c. of salted water...turn down immediately to a low simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes. Take off heat, let stand 5 minutes. You can then chill grains overnight. If prepping for the next day, wait to add dressing before using, or bring an additional amount to add.
Add diced veggies and herbs. Original tabbouleh calls for flat leafed parsley but i like the peppery flavor of watercress and the zing of mint.
Mix together oils and vinegar with lemon juice and salt and pepper with a whisk. If you want a bit of sweetness, but don't have an orange muscat champagne vinegar...add 1 T. orange marmalade or honey and 1 T. OJ to 1/4 c. vinegar.
Serve with baked pita chips or torn pieces of warm pita bread.
This salad is great for vegans, vegetarians and those with gluten sensitivites...if you want to make it more of a main dish salad, add some roasted chicken or fish (or for those vegan/vegetarian friends, grilled tempeh)
I learned to cook with my Gran. I can still see her reading a recipe and figuring out how she would make it better. She was fearless about substituting ingredients--but also knowledgeable. She approached food in the same way she built her antique business--appreciate quality ingredients and workmanship, but don't be a snob. I think I carry those same beliefs in my approach to cooking. I love family style dinners, I love a fancy ladies' luncheon with my wedding china, or a backyard seafood boil to celebrate my husband's birthday...I love to share food with others.