Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) used to annoy me… what is this thing everyone is talking about… “Its and ancient grain Liz” OK… so I did what I usually do when I don’t know anything about a food, I researched it!
It is a pseudocereal, not a real one (didn’t know pseudo cereals existed) and it is related to beetroot, spinach and tumbleweed… (thanks Wikipedia!) It is also high protein, has no gluten and doesn’t need a lot of water to grow.
They have a bitter outer coating that is generally processed and removed. However, I have recently discovered that in Australia, this is often no done… so if you have eaten quinoa and it was bitter, this is the reason. You can fix this 2 ways; soak the quinoa overnight or pour boiling water over it for 10 minutes. Personally, I have never had a problem as I buy the plain white quinoa, but a friend said that when ever she has had the red quinoa it was always bitter.
Ingredients – Salad
4 Fresh Cobs of Corn
1/2 Bunch Coriander (leaves only)
1/2 Bunch of Parsley (leaves only)
2 Long Red Chillies
Ingredients – Dressing
1/2 bunch or coriander (leaves only)
1/2 bunch of Parsley (leaves only)
1/2 Continental Cucumber
1/2 Red Onion
100ml (g) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
100ml (g) Lime Juice
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Teaspoon Sugar
Method – Dressing
1. In to a very large jar place finely chopped 1/2 bunch of coriander leaves, 1/2 bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped red onion, olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and sugar. Shake well until all ingredients are combined.
2. Add quartered. deseeded, chopped cucumbers to the jar, shake a bit more and allow the dressing to sit for at least an hour.
Method – Salad
1. Cook cobs of corn, cool and cut off kernels and place into a large bowl (you can steam, boil, grill or microwave, your choice… I’m just assuming everyone knows how to cook a cob of corn… if not send me an email and I will get back to you with the different methods I use)
2. Place quinoa in a saucepan (with a lid) and add 900ml of water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a medium heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes (with the lid on). Immediately remove from heat and allow to sit for 15 – 20 minutes to continue to steam (don’t lift the lid)
NB If you don’t have a saucepan with a good seal, when you remove the pan for the heat, place a tea towel over the saucepan and then place the lid on top, this will keep the steam in!
3. When cool, place quinoa, finely chop 1/2 bunch of coriander leaves, 1/2 bunch of parsley leaves and deseeded chopped chillies.
4. Just before serving shake dressing jar again and pour the contents onto the salad, mix well, serve and eat!
Method – Dressing
1. Place all ingredients, except the cucumber into the mixing bowl and blend 10 seconds/speed 7.
2. Scrape down the side of the mixing bowl and pour dressing into a large jar.
3. Add quartered. deseeded, chopped cucumbers to the jar, shake a bit more and allow the dressing to sit for at least an hour.
Method – Salad
1. Put 1/2 bunch of coriander leaves, 1/2 bunch of parsley leaves and deseeded chillies into mixing bowl and chop 5 seconds/speed 5. Place contents into large salad bowl.
1. Place 1000g of water into the mixing bowl, place the basket into the mixing bowl and measure in quinoa, remove basket and rinse quinoa under running water until it is fully rinsed and all quinoa is wet and then place basket back into mixing bowl.
NB you may loose some through the bottom of the basket but not enough to really worry about 🙂
2. Put fresh corn into the varoma and place varoma into place on top of the mixing basket. Cook quinoa and corn at the same time, 20 minutes/Varoma/speed 4.
3. Remove cooked quinoa with spatula and run under cold water to stop cooking, allow to drain. Cut corn off the cob and place into the bowl that has the herbs and chillies in it, then add drained cooled quinoa.
4. Just before serving, shake dressing jar again and pour the contents onto the salad, mix well, serve and eat!
This salad is easily cooked the day before, just don’t put the dressing on it and don’t put the cucumbers in the dressing till an hour before. I have also been known to accidentally forget the put the cucumbers in the dressing and just throw them in the salad and pour the dressing over… but it’s just not the same!
I hope you enjoy this gluten free, diary free, nut free, egg free, but not taste free salad. It is one of my favourites, and I hope it becomes yours too!
This salad is so simple, different and has delicious flavour combinations. What is you favourite salad to make for your family at Christmas that is a little different? I would love to hear from you!
Merry Christmas and ENJOY!
If you liked this recipe, you may like these!
Sweet Potato and Baked Philly Cheese Salad
This looks very healthy, Liz. I’m a big fan of quinoa, particularly in salads. I’ve never found it to be bitter but I do rinse it before I cook it xx
Thanks Charlie… yes its very healthy, we like to have good fresh food on our Christmas table when we aren’t having a roast that is 🙂 Liz xx