Monday, September 12, 2011

Toasted Quinoa Mediterranean Salad

The key word here is "toasted." This is a pretty wonderful recipe without the extra step, but it's over the top with the addition of toasted quinoa.

This dish was born completely by accident because I was having a less than good day and left it on the stove too long. I had to scrape the bottom of the saucepan to get the crunchy bits off because, let's face it, quinoa is expensive and I am on a (very) limited income (possibly because I am debating buying these shoes).

So, I've modified the recipe so the toasting process is more even:

What You Need:

1 block feta, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 bunch parsley, Italian or curly-leafed, roughly chopped
1 English cucumber with the seeds taken out, chopped into 1/4 inch dices
1 cup dry quinoa

To cook the quinoa, add it to 2 cups of water or stock and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Lower the heat so it simmers, put a lid over it, and cook for another 10-15 minutes until it's nice and fluffy.

In a frying pan, add 2 Tbs olive oil and half the quinoa (or all if you want everything toasted). For extra flavor, you can also add a tablespoon of butter. Toast the quinoa gently over medium/ medium high heat until it's nice and crunchy.

Add to this another 1 Tbs of really good olive oil, season with salt and pepper. You can also add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, too.

In a separate bowl mix the cukes, feta, and parsley.

I store the quinoa separately from the mix-ins because I think it helps keep the flavors fresh. Right before serving, mix them together and squeeze over a little lemon.

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