Sunday, July 31, 2011

quinoa salad with lemon and mint

Edwin and I have had a glorious weekend. Friday night we saw Brett Harris at the library, and then we got to have brunch with Brett and his wife Rebecca at Sunny Point on Saturday. If you aren't already listening to Brett Harris and eating at Sunny Point when you're in Asheville, you should be.

Edwin and I spent the rest of Saturday doing our favorite things: cooking (me), watching baseball (EDW), reading (both), and going out for a late afternoon Starbucks. I used a Splendid Table Weeknight Kitchen recipe for dinner last night, but I didn't really follow it that closely. It was supposed to be Chickpea-Couscous Salad with Lemon and Fresh Mint, but I made so many changes I don't know that it really was that at all. Here's what I did:

Quinoa Salad with Lemon and Mint
serves 4

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup diced cucumber
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cup mint, roughly chopped
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 2 lemons

To prepare the quinoa: cover with water by about 2 inches and simmer until tender, 20 minutes. Rinse and drain thoroughly. While the quinoa is cooking, stir together the onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Combine all remaining ingredients. Adjust salt, pepper, and lemon to taste. Allow to chill and serve cool.
The Splendid Table recipe didn't call for cucumber and involved kalamata olives, couscous instead of quinoa, and some celery, but the idea is basically the same. EDW and I LOVED this flavor combination. I squirted mine with more lemon juice, but Edwin was happy with his as it was served. We had the quinoa salad with cool cucumber soup, a classic from last summer, and it was perfect.
There's a lot to be said about a cold dinner on a lazy Saturday night. There's also a lot to be said about watching the Project Runway premier (and casting show, obvi), delighting in Tim Gunn, judging the competitors and eating ice cream on the couch. It was a good night for the Arnaudins.

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