Indigenous to the Andes, quinoa was called the mother grain by the Incas, who considered the plant sacred. Much has been made of quinoa's nutritional properties and its fluffy texture and nuttiness in this recipe makes it all the better.
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Quinoa Salad Preparation
Put quinoa in sieve and wash thoroughly under cool running water, at least 1 minute. Drain. Cook quinoa in a medium pot of well-salted boiling water, uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve over same pot above 1 inch of simmering water. Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel (not terrycloth), then cover with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly). Steam until tender, fluffy and dry, about 15 minutes. Let stand off heat, without lid but still covered with towel, 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, soak onion in a bowl of cold water 5 minutes, drain well and pat very dry.
Whisk together vinegar, oil, 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper in large bowl. Toss quinoa, onion, jicama and parsley with dressing.
Water chestnuts sliced into matchsticks can be substituted for jicama if desired. Quinoa can be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temp before proceeding. Salad can be assembled 1 hour ahead.
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