I love the nutty texture and wonderful earthy flavor of this grain-like seeds. Tossed with fresh lemon juice and creamy ripe avocado chunks, it makes the most perfect summer side dish.
Fresh lemon and zest is the key to brightening up this dish.
Keeping it real; my kitchen is in complete disarray whenever I take food photos. Prep person, the cook, dishwasher, and photographer, all in one!
Halved grilled tri-color peppers make fabulous presentation.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (I used try-colored quinoa here)
1 teaspoon salt; divided
1 large lemon, zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: 6 halves of multi-colored peppers, grilled to fill the quinoa salad (lightly coat peppers with olive oil, salt & pepper, then grill)
Put quinoa in a small meshed colander or sieve and run cold water through to rinse well. Let drain. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, fresh ground pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
In a large bowl while quinoa is still warm, toss with vinaigrette and let flavor absorb. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Then gently fold in toasted nuts, diced avocado, green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Optional: serve this in beautifully grilled pepper halves to make an excellent vegetarian meal