Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quinoa Salad with Avocado, etc.


There are several reasons I try new recipes . . . but there was no major inspiration for this one - I simply had all the ingredients on hand (and needed to use up the avocado and scallions). I'm glad I came across the recipe, because I have been trying to use quinoa more regularly and I really liked this dish. If you're thinking avocados and raisins seem like a strange combination, I understand where you're coming from. However, both ingredients - and the almonds and scallions as well - are important for texture and flavor. And above all, don't forget to rinse the quinoa before cooking it - if you forget, you'll end up with gritty pieces, which are not a good contribution to the dish. Trust me!

Quinoa salad with avocado, almonds and raisins
3 tbsp. raisins (mix of dark and golden)
1 cup quinoa, RINSED WELL (important!)
sea salt
1 large lemon
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tbsp. chopped or slivered toasted almonds
optional: freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, soak raisins in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a 2-qt. saucepan, bring 2 cups quinoa, water, and salt to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes). Fluff quinoa with a fork and allow it to cool.

Finely grate the zest of the lemon and then squeeze 1 tbsp. lemon juice - whisk both together with olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with quinoa, raisins, avocado, scallions and almonds. Season with salt and pepper and serve.  - Recipe from Fine Cooking