Thursday, June 14, 2012

Toasted Quinoa and Spinach Salad

School events, fundraisers, meetings ... I have a good mental calendar, but sometimes life still sneaks up on me. So here I find myself, somewhat surprisingly, on the cusp of CSA season.

I can't say that I have prepared in any special way, but we're down to dregs in the refrigerator, so I'm hoping for a nice "refill" from the farm. I think it's a good bet that Week 1 will include fresh greens, so consider the salad recipe below a teaser of the season to come.

Toasted Quinoa and Spinach Salad
(From The Boston Globe. This salad has a high proportion of spinach to quinoa. Serves at least 4 as a side salad, and 2 to 3 as a main dish for a light lunch or supper.)

1 cup quinoa (I used white)
2 cups water
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste
6 ounces baby spinach
1 cup crumbled feta
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
Salt, to taste

Heat a large, dry skillet (10- to 12-inches) over medium-high heat. Toast the quinoa, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes or until aromatic.

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the toasted quinoa, cover the pan, and lower the heat. Simmer the quinoa undisturbed for about 15 minutes, or until it absorbs the liquid. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside to cool.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the quinoa. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

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