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Ethnic Sensations
July 2015



Red Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chilies, Green Tomatoes and Fresh Corn in a Creamy Meyer Lemon and Chive Dressing


Red Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chilies, Green Tomatoes and Fresh Corn in a Creamy Meyer Lemon and Chive Dressing
By Heidi Allison


Red Quinoa


This easy and quick salad can masquerade as an on-trend side, or, a filling main dish - it all depends on the portion size. Its foundation is Red Quinoa—that South American uber-food which delivers a complete protein and a variety of phytochemicals, along with fiber, in each serving.

In this dish, the nutty taste of the quinoa is enhanced with smoked chilies, rich Avocado, Sweet Red Bell Peppers and fresh summer Corn— creating a filling, yet surprisingly light and refreshing, perfect summer meal. This meatless meal is also good for anyone that wants to reduce the amount of meat in their diet—just rotate it in one or twice per week for a healthy change…It holds up well in the fridge.

There are several tricks that make this salad work: it’s crucial to uncover the quinoa when the 15 minutes of cooking time is up, and allow it to cool. Otherwise, the quinoa overcooks and gets “mushy”, losing its great “al dente” texture. Although quinoa has an inherently nutty flavor, it’s subtle at best and layering additional flavors into this rather bland grain adds depth to the finished dish. Adding Shallots and Garlic to the quinoa cooking water adds another layer of subtle flavor.

Another clever trick is seasoning the quinoa with an acid and smoked salt, right after the quinoa is finished cooking but still hot. This final step adds a brightness and complexity to this ancient grain.

Red Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chilies, Green Tomatoes and Fresh Corn in a Creamy Meyer Lemon and Chive Dressing
Serves: 3 as a main; 6 as a side


Ingredients:

1 cup Red Quinoa
2 Shallots, peeled and lightly smashed
1 clove Garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
2 cups Water
Juice of ½ Meyer Lemon
¼ teaspoon Smoked Salt

Preparation:

Place quinoa in a 2-quart pot. Rinse quinoa in water several times, then drain.

Add 2 cups water, shallots, quinoa, garlic and water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork; then remove shallots and garlic. Squeeze Meyer lemon juice over hot quinoa and sprinkle with smoked salt or Kosher flake salt, then toss. Allow to come to room temperature.


Add 2 cups water, shallots, quinoa, garlic and water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork; then remove shallots and garlic. Squeeze Meyer lemon juice over hot quinoa and sprinkle with smoked salt or Kosher flake salt, then toss. Allow to come to room temperature.

Creamy Meyer Lemon and Chive Dressing
Makes: 1 cup


Ingredients:

1 cup Mexican Crema
½ bunch of Chives, chopped
Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon (about 2 Tablespoons) ¼ teaspoon Kosher Flake Salt (or, to taste) Preparation:

Place Mexican crema, Meyer lemon juice and chives into a blender and purée for about 5 seconds, or until a light green color appears. Season with salt to taste.

Salad Ingredients:

Ingredients:  Creamy Meyer Lemon and Chive Dressing


1 large Green Tomato, cut into a ¼ inch dice
3 ears of Fresh Corn, cooked and kernels cut from cob
1 Poblano Chile
1 Jalapeño Chile
2 Green Onions (green parts only), thinly sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into ¼ inch strips
1 Avocado, peeled and cut into ¼ inch strips

Salad:

Place poblano and jalapeño chilies directly over a gas burner over high heat until all sides are charred. Using your fingers or a knife, scrape off charred skin from chilies, seed and dice.


Place poblano and jalapeño chilies directly over a gas burner over high heat until all sides are charred. Using your fingers or a knife, scrape off charred skin from chilies, seed and dice.

Place cooled quinoa, green tomatoes, corn, and roasted chiles in a large bowl and toss. Place quinoa salad on a plate and top with red bell pepper strips, avocado and minced chiles.


Place cooled quinoa, green tomatoes, corn, and roasted chiles in a large bowl and toss. Place quinoa salad on a plate and top with red bell pepper strips, avocado and minced chiles.

Drizzle each serving with about 2 heaping tablespoons of creamy Meyer lemon and Chive Dressing per serving.