Friday, June 29, 2012

Monday~Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

July 1994

Quinoa, though technically a seed in the herb category, has traditionally been considered a valuable member of the grain family. A sacred source of strength for the ancient Incas, it is enjoying as a new popularity here in the United States. The secret of the success of this salad is the steaming of the quinoa. (The traditonal cooking method for quinoa, boiling it in a measured amount of water, does not produce the light, fluffy texture that works so well in a salad.) This dish provides a complete protein and can stand alone as a luncheon or light supper entrée.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée or 8 as a side dish

1 1/2 cups quinoa (small disk-shaped seeds)*

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned

1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 1/2 cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears)

3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

2 pickled jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

For dressing

5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste

1/3 cup olive oil

*available at specialty foods shops and natural foods stores

In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.

In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).

While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, and coriander and toss well.

Make dressing:

In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

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