Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quinoa Salad with Lime Ginger Dressing and Shrimp

Another slight adaptation from the New York Times "Recipes for Health" section. This salad is delicious for warm summer nights. I loved the shrimp in it, but I recommend marinating them a bit first just to add some kick to them.

I put them in a little lime juice, mexican salt, cayenne and let them sit for a few hours before tossing them into the salad.

This salad is so basic you could add whatever else you want to it, I thought of tomatoes, corn, olives just as ideas.

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (more to taste)
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil or walnut oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons buttermilk

For the salad:
3 cups (3/4 cup uncooked) (see cooking instructions for quinoa below)
4 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thin
1 small cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
12 to 16 cooked medium shrimp, peeled


1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne, sesame oil, canola oil, and buttermilk.
2. In a salad bowl, combine the quinoa, scallions, cucumber, and cilantro. Toss with the dressing and divide among salad plates. Top each portion with 3 or 4 shrimp, and serve.

Yield: Serves 4
Advance preparation: The cooked quinoa will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. You can make the dressing and prep the ingredients for the salad a few hours ahead

Basic Steamed Quinoa:
Many recipes for quinoa suggest cooking it like rice, in two parts water for one part quinoa. This works, but I find the grains are fluffier if I cook them in three parts water and drain the excess water once the quinoa is tender. The tiny seeds swell to about four times their original size, so 1 cup uncooked quinoa yields about 4 cups, enough for 6 to 8 servings.

1 cup quinoa

3 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)

1. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.
2. Bring the water or stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt and the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and translucent, and each grain displays a little thread. Drain and return to the pan. Cover the pan with a clean dish towel, replace the lid and allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Fluff and serve.

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