Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Black Quinoa Salad with Cucumber and Corn

Continuing in the quick and easy salad vein, this was a little something I literally threw together fifteen minutes before dinnertime to prevent my husband from running out to get takeout from the truly awful Due Drop In. We tried this place once, because our neighborhood, while long on the regional Italian and taquerias, is a bit lacking in terms of healthy food options. It was a mistake, but somehow one my husband refuses to acknowledge. He loves leafy greens so much, that he'd settle for undercooked, underseasoned chard and dried out rotisserie chicken (hey, even Safeway manages to turn out a halfway decent bird).

His threat offer to grab dinner from Due Drop In was all it took to jolt me out of my too-lazy-to-make-dinner stupor and throw together something quick and tasty. Our usual grains—brown rice and farro—would take too long, so I boiled up some quinoa, rummaged in the fridge, and served this alongside some grilled chicken thighs. The addition of butter was inspired by The Kitchenist. I thought a smidge of butter would work nicely with the corn. Other than that, this salad is strikingly similar to the chickpea salad I last posted, but somehow manages to taste quite different. The quinoa adds a nuttiness in place of the creamy avocado and the result is sort of tabbouleh-esque. Two tips for cooking the quinoa: rinse first to remove any bitterness and use plenty of cooking water (I used more than the package instructed, then drained the quinoa after boiling it for fifteen minutes). Instead of melting the butter and making an extra dirty dish, I simply swirled a small pat of butter into the cooked quinoa before tossing with the rest of the salad.

Black Quinoa Salad with Cucumber and Corn
1 cup quinoa (rinsed and cooked in at least 2½ cups of water)
1 english cucumber or 2 persian cucumbers, seeded and diced
1 ear of corn, kernels removed with a knife
Handful of Italian parsley, chopped
Juice from two limes
Pinch of sea salt
Small pat of butter

Swirl the butter into the cooked quinoa to melt. Toss all ingredients together in a salad bowl.

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