Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad


This is one of my standard potluck faves. I cut it out of the Oregonian a million years ago and they cite Gourmet Magazine as their source.

The secret of success for this salad is the steaming of the quinoa. (The traditional 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 entree.

[I guess you could tell that the last paragraph was from the recipe, not me, when you saw the word "luncheon"?]

1-1/2C Quinoa, uncooked (I use 2 because I think the dressing to salad ratio is too high)
1-1/2C cooked black beans, rinsed if canned (1 can)
1-1/2 T red wine vinegar
1-1/2C cooked corn (cut from two large ears) (or 1 can)
3/4C finely chopped green bell pepper (I like to use red for color)
2 pickled jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced (omit if serving to the heat-averse)
1/4C finely chopped fresh cilantro

5T fresh lime juice, or to taste
1t salt
1-1/4t ground cumin, or to taste
1/3C olive oil

To make salad: In 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, drain in large, fine sieve.
In saucepan of salted boiling water, cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam, covered with kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding more if necessary).
While quinoa is cooking, in small bowl, toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer quinoa to large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, chiles and cilantro; toss well.

To make dressing:
In 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.

Per Serving:
Calories: 319 (35% from fat)
Protein: 9g
Total fat: 13g
Cholesterol: 0g
Fiber: 10g
Sodium: 405mg
Carbohydrate: 45g