31 May 2011

Lemon-Fennel Quinoa Salad

We made home-made pizzas, and needed something to serve with them.  This salad is inspired by one served in my French class a few weeks ago.  Although we adapted that dish a fair bit, it turned out great, and was suprisingly quick and easy to prepare.  
If you're wondering, the anise/licorice flavor of the fennel doesn't stand out too much.  Instead, it provides a subtle, perky, herbal flavor perfect for spring.  Using quinoa as a "pasta salad alternative" provides variety, different nutrients, and it is a great source of complete proteins and amino acids.  
INGREDIENTS
  • 1.5 C quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah")
  • 3 C water
  • ½ C + extra olive oil
  • 1 C cabbage (chopped)*
  • ½ C red onion (chopped)*
  • ½ C celery (chopped)*
  • 1 lemon (zested, then juiced)
  • ½ tsp. cardamom
  • 1 T fennel (fresh if you have it; dried; seeds – grind seeds with mortar & pestle before using)
  • Salt & pepper

PREPARATION
  • Bring to a boil: 1.5 C Quinoa and 3 C Water; turn heat to low, cover with lid, and cook for 15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes.
    Meanwhile, chop into ½- ¼ inch pieces: 1 C Cabbage, ½ C Red Onion, and ½ C Celery (volume when chopped).  Mix vegetables and quinoa in a large bowl**, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat, then set aside.
  • Zest one lemon, and set zest aside.
  • Combine in a jar with a good lid: ½ C olive oil, juice from the zested lemon, ½ tsp. cardamom, and 1 T fennel.  Shake well, and salt & pepper to taste.  Pour over quinoa salad, and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle lemon zest over salad, lightly cover with salt and pepper, and set in refrigerator until ready to serve. 

NOTES
  • *Use red varieties of these vegetables, if available, for added color.  Substituting scallions (green onions, adds to the color impact).
  • **Residual heat from cooked quinoa will soften but not cook vegetables, resulting in a pleasant but not overly crunchy texture.
Update: Made this again recently, with the following changes:
  • Use celery and carrots only, and mix in golden raisins.  
  • Make the dressing using oil, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, a dash of cayenne, and some honey or sugar.  
  • It's delicious this way, too!

2 comments:

SarahM said...

Ooo another good recipe! I've never had fennel before...

M said...

Hé, nous aussi on fait nos propres pizzas (avec plein de fromages pleins de goût dedans) ! Paraît-il que c'est même les meilleures de Québec ;) (approuvée par un panel totalement représentatif de 4 Français et 2 Québécois)

Par contre, le quinoa en accompagnement de pizza, c'est mieux qu'une salade verte ou une salade de tomates ? C'est pas un peu lourd ? Bon, faudrait que j'essaye le quinoa avant de me lancer dans des arguments pareils... Et en effet, pourquoi pas du fenouil ? À tester également...

M

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