A couple of my family members have recently had to go gluten free. This has made the menu for family get-togethers somewhat different but no less tasty! I have made this quinoa salad several times over the spring and summer and it has received rave reviews each time…even from people who normally don’t like quinoa. It is my most requested recipe and yet we have never shared it on the blog. This is most likely due to Nathan’s bean aversion but he was a good sport and agreed to look beyond the beans to the fact that this is a zesty, hearty, fresh, and delicious salad. It can serve as a side dish or as a light, vegetarian main dish. It is also a great dish to use up the last corn, tomatoes, and peppers from your garden…can you tell that we have a hard time letting go of summer blog posts? We’ll be holding on to the end of this summer with a vice-like grip until we are forced to concede that fall is coming (most likely when Halloween rolls around).
This salad pretty much begs to be eaten with a light, fresh, semi-dry white wine. This one totally fit the bill! It had subtle citrus aromas with floral undertones. It was crisp and refreshing and perfectly complimented our late summer salad. I highly recommend this wine for salads, fish or any light meal!
This pale ale was a perfectly respectable beer that paired well with our quinoa salad. The aroma of the beer has a sweet malty smell which contrasts with the mild hop flavors associated with pale ales and a light body that is great for enjoying on a warm day. The hops in the beer helped cut through the acidity of the vinegar and complimented the flavors of the cilantro and accentuated the occasional spice from the jalapeno pepper. Overall, this beer would be a good session beer with a little hop flavor or also good paired with a light meal like our quinoa salad.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad:
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups cooked corn
1 large tomato, diced
3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeños (or to taste)
2-3 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro
In a bowl, wash quinoa with cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.
In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).
While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, and cilantro and toss well.
Quinoa Salad Dressing:
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
About 2 Tbs. olive oil
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, garlic and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.