Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Farm Stand Veggies
Recipe copyright Susie Middleton 2014 from Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories (The Taunton Press) - Meet the author Feb. 15 at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore
Since I’m a sucker for color, once I discovered there was such a thing as red quinoa, I had to have it. The brick-adobe red immediately made me think of the Southwest, so along came the spices, the black beans, and farm stand veggies like corn and zucchini to make up this tasty salad for picnics and potlucks. Since it takes a while to cool down, get the quinoa cooking before prepping the rest of your ingredients.
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1⁄4 teaspoons ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1⁄2 cups red quinoa, rinsed well if not pre-rinsed
One 15 1⁄2-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium zucchini (about 7 ounces), trimmed and cut into small dice (1 1⁄3 cups)
1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears), microwaved or blanched for a few seconds
1 small (or 1⁄2 large) red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice (1⁄2 cup)
1⁄3 cup sliced scallions (white and light green parts)
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
1⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons honey, preferably local
1⁄4 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic paste
1⁄2 to 2⁄3 cup toasted pine nuts
Combine 1 teaspoon salt, the cumin, coriander, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the salt-spice mixture, stir well, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the quinoa, stir again, and add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water and the germ has separated from the seed (it will look like a ring), 20 to 22 minutes. (If there is a little water left, bring back to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more to boil off the water.) Remove the pot from the heat and stir once. Put a folded paper towel over the quinoa and cover with the pot lid again for 5 minutes. Uncover, discard the paper towel, and transfer the quinoa to a large, shallow mixing bowl or a large baking sheet (where it will cool more quickly). Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the black beans, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, peppers, scallions, chopped cilantro, orange juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, garlic, honey, chili-garlic paste, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Stir well and let sit while the quinoa cools, stirring occasionally.
Combine the black bean salad with the cooled quinoa and mix thoroughly. Taste and season as necessary. (It will continue to build flavor as it sits.)
Serve, garnished with the pine nuts and cilantro sprigs (if using) at room temperature or chilled, or refrigerate to serve at a cookout or potluck later. It can be made up to a day ahead.
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