I was first introduced to quinoa at work and, for the longest time, was mystified by this odd grain with which customers seemed to be obsessed (and often mispronounced). Finally I brought some home, cooked it up, and jumped on the bandwagon.
Quinoa is a grain-like seed from South America that is rich in calcium and iron. It’s also the only grain that’s a complete protein, so it’s very vegetarian friendly and makes an easy meal. Cooking it is similar to cooking rice- just add it to boiling liquid and wait for it to fluff up. You can cook it in water, but I choose broth for the added flavor.
for the salad:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups broth (chicken, vegetable- your choice)
2 large scallions or 3 medium ones, sliced
6 ounces feta, crumbled
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
for the dressing:
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
Rinse quinoa and drain thoroughly. There is a sap residue on quinoa that makes it bitter if not removed. Bring broth to a boil and add quinoa. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy. Let the quinoa cool as you chop the cilantro and the scallions and make the dressing. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and serve over a bed of lettuce with the dressing.