ingredient obsession: greek quinoa
Hello, it’s Kate from Cookie and Kate here, with a confession: I love quinoa. Why? It’s full of nutrients and nutty flavor, and it cooks quickly. It’s also gluten free, so I can bring it to a potluck and all can enjoy. I’ll admit that it’s not always a good substitution for rice or pasta, but quinoa’s texture and flavor can complement the right dish. This Greek quinoa salad is a perfect example.
If you haven’t tried quinoa before, I’ll share a few notes. Quinoa is a complete protein and is considered a superfood. Lastly, quinoa is not a grain but rather a “pseudocereal” that is actually more closely related to spinach than wheat! When it comes to cooking quinoa, always rinse quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a few minutes to rinse off the saponin, a bitter substance coating the outside layer.
I loved the bright, fresh flavors in this colorful, healthy salad. It’s a simple vegetarian meal that is sure to satisfy. I made a few substitutions to the recipe based on what I had in my kitchen. I used peppery arugula instead of spinach, the first local cherry tomatoes instead of Roma tomatoes and goat cheese instead of feta. I also mixed a big clove of pressed garlic into the warm quinoa, which lent a lot of flavor. I’ve typed up my version of the recipe below.
Greek Quinoa (my way)
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup water
- handful cherry tomatoes, chopped
- several handfuls baby arugula or roughly chopped arugula
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 to 2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta cheese)
1) In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Place quinoa in a medium bowl and mix in the pressed garlic.
2) Add tomato, a handful of arugula, and onion to quinoa; stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture; toss to coat.
3) Place additional arugula leaves on two to four salad plates. Divide quinoa mixture evenly the beds of arugula. Sprinkle each serving with some of the crumbled cheese, and arrange slices of avocado on the side.
Notes: serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side.
Find BHG’s original recipe for Greek Quinoa.
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