Thursday, May 10, 2012

Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa

You're right.  This isn't exactly a co-op recipe.  Not because the main ingredient is nowhere to be found at the co-op (that never stopped me from posting fresh chicken recipes), but because it's so annoyingly expensive.  In fact, the only reason I have quinoa on hand is because my mother-in-law bought a giant bag of it at Sam's Club and generously bestowed half of it on me.  (Yes!)  I had never even heard of quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) at that point, much less tasted it, and after some very, um, interesting experiments with quinoa muffins and other weird recipes, I found this one on Epicurious.  And this is the one.  If you have a sad and lonely bag of quinoa hiding in the back of your pantry, get it out and celebrate, because this tasty little salad is the best thing since... whatever I posted last time.  And if you don't have millions saved to buy quinoa at Meijer, convince a rich friend with a Costco membership to split a bag with you.  It'll be worth it.

Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa (based on this recipe)
Serves 6 as a side dish
Time:  45 minutes

2 tsp. grated lime zest
2 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. butter, melted and cooled
1 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa
1 (14- to 15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 medium tomatoes, diced

Whisk together first five ingredients, plus 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Rinse quinoa in three changes of cold water (you can do this in a bowl and drain in a sieve, or just put it in a sieve and toss with one hand under the water).  Transfer quinoa to a 2-qt. saucepan; add 2 cups water.  Cover; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

Notes:  This salad can be eaten warm or cold--my husband and I both prefer it chilled.  If making ahead, leave the tomatoes out until just before serving.

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