Toasted Quinoa Salad
courtesy of Ezra Pound Cake
For the salad:
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
1 cup diced (1/2 inch) cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup thin-sliced (1/4 inch) scallions (white and green parts)
For the dressing:
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper, plus more to taste
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon coarse salt
For the garnish:
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced (1/2 inch)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water for at least 45 seconds. Shake the strainer to remove as much water as possible.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the rinsed quinoa and cook, stirring, over medium heat until it is light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water to the quinoa, and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent, 18 to 20 minutes.
Let stand, uncovered, until cool, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: sprinkle the cumin in a small skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. When the skillet is cool to the touch, add the oil, lime juice, jalapeno, garlic and salt. Transfer to a large bowl, and whisk to blend.
Add the cooled quinoa, corn, tomatoes and scallions to the dressing, and toss to blend.
Spoon the salad onto a large platter, and garnish with the avocado and cilantro.
Holy crap, people. Hoe. Lee. Crap.
This is the best salad I have ever had in my life. I knew when I spotted the recipe that it would be good, but this… this blew me away.
The nutty flavor of the quinoa blends with the sweetness of the corn, the acidity of the tomatoes and the creaminess of the avocado and then, THEN, you get hit with the jalapeno lime toasted cumin dressing. My god, the dressing. The smell of it in the bowl when you whisk it together is intoxicating, and I don’t use that word lightly.
A “must make” before summer is over. Must.