Quinoa, overrated but pretty.

Quinoa is an ancient South American grain which is choc full of protein, fibre and is gluten free, and has recently become popular for its healthfulness.

Healthy, and interestingly pretty, but I do find it a little bland. There. I said it. Bland. But, there is hope for the humble quinoa and that hope lies in this salad.

In an effort to eat up all the food in the house in preparation for my looming holiday (the holiday isn’t looming on the horizon, just instead all the things I need to finish before I leave), I rescued a lonely packet of quinoa from the pantry (pantry? who I am kidding, I mean bookshelf. In the kitchen. Where my food goes. Yes, bookshelf.) and turned it into something wonderful.

The secret is in the dressing, and it is so easy you don’t even really need a recipe (so I won’t write one). Just mix together the juice of a lemon with a few teaspoons of tahini and a little finely sliced garlic. Add some oil (2T), salt and chilli and mix to combine. This should form a thick paste, loosen with a few teaspoons of water.

The other secret is coriander. Throw in whatever vegetables you want, I used carrot, cucumber, tomato and red onion (a little too much onion, I might add), but a bunch of coriander, stems finely sliced, leaves chopped roughly, is the key.

You can spice it up with extra chilli and lime juice, mellow it down by adding shards of parmesan cheese or try to finish something from the cupboard off, by adding fried garlic, cumin seeds and topping it with dukkah as I did.

I know, this is more of an idea than a recipe, but for this quick and healthy meal a recipe is overkill. Just add ingredients to your taste, and maybe try to finish something that has been hanging around too long in your pantry. Or kitchen bookshelf.

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

One Comment

  1. Posted December 15, 2008 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Good on you for dissing the grain! It’s a bit like people whispering that they think truffle is overrated… bubbles need to burst on occasion;)

One Trackback

  1. [...] why it holds a special place in my heart. There are several varieties, though I have only tried the regular pale one and the red. Quinoa has many health benefits, but in all honesty I find the taste a little bland. [...]

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