This classic Middle Eastern salad is normally made with bulgur, tomato, and loads of chopped parsley and mint. Here it is given a new twist with quinoa, the protein-rich "super grain" of the Incas, and yellow tomatoes, although red tomatoes may be substituted if yellow are unavailable. Be sure to rinse the quinoa well before using to remove the bitter white coating called saponin. Fresh cilantro replaces the mint, and the optional tiny red adzuki beans acn be added for substance. These mild-tasting, highly digestible beans are available dried or canned at natural food stores.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseantipasto/mezze, main course
Dietary Considerationantipasto/mezze, main course
Taste and Texturechewy, herby, juicy, light, savory
Type of Dishmain course salad, salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- Salt to taste
- 2 medium-size ripe yellow tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- ½ cup cooked or canned adzuki beans (optional), rinsed and drained if canned
- Leaves from 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Wash the quinoa thoroughly to remove any trace of the bitter white coating, then rinse and drain.
Bring the water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add salt and the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Blot the quinoa with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Place the quinoa in a large serving bowl and set aside to cool. Add the tomatoes, onion, the adzuki beans, if using, parsley, and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper until blended. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. For the best flavor, this salad should be served the day it is made. Serve chilled.
2007 Robin Robertson