A warm salad recipe for the cooling temperatures outside.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
7 T cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 C quinoa
2 C water or vegetable stock
1 C finely diced white or red onion
1 medium carrot, diced
1 C mushrooms, chopped (try mixture such as shiitake & portobello)
10 -12 green beans, cut into ½” pieces
3 T red wine vinegar
½ C currants or roughly chopped apricots (or combination of)
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup walnut halves, toasted**
1. Put 1 T of the olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan & heat over a medium flame. Add the quinoa & stir gently with a wooden spoon, allowing it to toast slightly, about 3 minutes. When you hear little popping sounds, add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, saute’ the onion and carrot in 2 T of the oil. When the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes), add the mushroom mixture and saute’ unitl the mushrooms are softened (about 5 minutes). Add the green beans and take the pan off the heat. Add the last 4 T of oil and the red wine vinegar
3. When the quinoa is done (pale rings will appear), turn off the heat, add the dressed vegetable mixture and the dried fruit, and combine with a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Replace the saucepan lid and let it sit while you make a green salad (or about 5-10 minutes). The dressing will flavor the grain and the heat will cook the beans to the crisp-tender stage. Just before serving, top each portion with the toasted walnuts.
*If using Portobello mushrooms, use the tip of a spoon to scrape off the black gills on their underside. This step will prevent the other vegetables from turning a dark color.
**To toast walnuts: Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350-degree oven for ab