Friday, January 21, 2011

Silver Lake Farms CSA Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a delicious and nutritious grain with a slightly nutty flavor. By itself, it's a great side dish. However, you can toss it with all kinds of vegetables to make fabulous salads. This week's CSA box has just what you need to make a super tasty quinoa salad.

Start with 4-5 C of cooked quinoa, fluffed and cooled. Cook the quinoa according to the directions of the package. Like rice, quinoa approximately doubles in size when cooked.

Then take:
1 C peeled and thinly sliced carrots
3/4 C thinly sliced celery
1/2 C chopped onion
2 C chopped kale or chard

You can add these ingredients raw to the quinoa, but I like to cook them briefly, both to soften them and to bring out their flavors. To cook: Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion first, cook for 1 minute. Then add the remaining ingredients. Stir to coat them with the oil. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper, if desired. Then cover and cook until they reach the desired softness, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the vegetables to the quinoa and stir to combine. Then make the dressing:

1/2 C olive oil
1/3 C rice vinegar
juice of 1 satsuma tangerine
1/4 C finely chopped fresh parsley (or any combination of herbs that you like)
2 T finely sliced green onion
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the dressing ingredients briskly until well-combined. You should have about 1 C of dressing. Pour as much dressing as desired over the quinoa and toss to coat. Unused dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. I like to add mashed roasted shallot (or garlic) to this dressing. It deepens the flavor of the dressing. Sometimes, I add a pinch of sugar or 1/4 t agave syrup to cut the sharpness.



And here's what was in our box this afternoon:

bunch red beets or butternut squash
bunch carrots or delicata squash
Napa cabbage or rhubarb
white cauliflower or tuffy acorn squash
butter lettuce or bunch chard
1# broccoli or 1# onions
celery or cilantro + parsley
2 leeks or 1# parsnips
bunch purple kale or bunch dill
SLF mustard and radish microgreens
Russian banana spuds
1# satsuma mandarins
2 black Hass avocados

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