Every now and then I discover or rediscover a particular food, and suddenly, my daily eating routine is altered by meals adjusted to accommodate that food. Eating is transformed. Eating up until the moment of that first taste seems trite.
These love affairs typically last for a few scrumptious weeks before something inexplicably changes, and slowly but surely, my affections fade.
For the past few weeks, my affections for quinoa have been unwavering. It all began with an innocent, and absent-minded scoop of a yummy salad from the salad bar at my go-to work lunch stop. Even though it was competing with the flavors of a bazillion other foods that I had packed into the little cardboard takeout carton, this salad, which was quinoa-based, was standout.
I’ve been eating it every day since, in large helpings, over simple salads of mixed greens dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.
And while the passion is still hot, I figured I’d share my interpretation of this salad with you all. Spread the love!
Oh, and I’ve been mispronouncing Quinoa for all these weeks – finally someone was gracious enough to correct me. Quinoa = KEEN – WAH.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
2 cups Quinoa (I bought Ancient Harvest brand and followed the cooking instructions on the box, which may vary. Be sure to follow the cooking directions for the quinoa you buy)
3 cups boiling water
1 lemon’s juice
1 cup finely chopped fresh basil
½ cup finely chopped yellow or white onion
¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, and allow the quinoa to sit and absorb the moisture (approx 5 minutes, or until the center of each piece is translucent). Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Remove from the saucepan and allow to cool completely in a bowl.
Once quinoa is cool, add the lemon juice and vinegar, and stir until fully integrated. Add all of the chopped ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Serve immediately, or save in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days. I found that this was better after it had been in the fridge overnight. Serve over mixed greens or on its own.