Monday, August 1, 2011

Produce for August 1st, Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini

Hello hungry friends,

This week's basket contains....

heirloom tomatoes
sun gold tomatoes
lemon cucumbers
spring onions
brown onions
red leaf lettuce
snap peas
yellow plums
white nectarines
yellow peaches
red flame grapes
sugar queen melons

Here is an impressively easy recipe (once again from 101 cookbooks) for a quinoa salad that will work in almost any time of year. The great part of this salad is that many of the vegetables can be substituted for. Quinoa salad is a necessary staple to have in your mental cookbook arsenal. It can be served toasty, chilled, simple or deluxe. Quinoa salad can roll with the punches.

Tonight my sisters and parents are in town so we are ccooking up green onion rice pancakes topped with baby bok choy and broccoli rabe stir fry, the Quinoa salad (topped with fried egg), and an asian styled salad with red bell peppers, bean sprouts, sesame, edamame, and a spicy peanut dressing. We are going for a big production, and tonight the quinoa will shine.

Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini

Summer Quinoa Recipe

This is great with crumbled feta. But it's also perfect with thinned-out, salted, plain yogurt. Also, for those of you who are fans of quinoa patties - I made patties out of the leftovers by combining a scant 3 cups of leftovers with 4 beaten eggs, and enough breadcrumbs to thicken things up a bit - 1/2 cup or so. Press with hands firmly into patties, then pan-fry, covered.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 g quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1/4 cup / 1 oz / 30g dried currants
1 lemon
2 sm-med zucchini, grated on box grater
4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

feta cheese, crumbled - as much or as little as you like

To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add most of the green onions, a pinch of the salt, and cook until the onions soften, just a couple minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grains dry out and toast a bit, roughly another 3 minutes. Add the water, the currants, the remaining salt; bring to a boil. Dial back the heat and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is just cooked through- 15 minutes or so. Be mindful here, you don't want to overcook the quinoa, and have it go to mush.

While the quinoa is cooking zest the lemon, and squeeze 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into a small bowl.

When the quinoa is cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the zucchini, lemon juice and zest, most of the sesame seeds, and most of the dill. Taste and adjust for salt.

Serve, turned out onto a platter, topped with crumbled feta, and the remaining green onions, sesame seeds, and dill.

Serves 6.

Adapted from the Lemon Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini in Maria Speck's Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, published by Ten Speed Press, 2011.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 20 min

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