Saturday, September 28, 2013

Warm Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Lemon-Tarragon Dressing

As part of my commitment to Meatless Mondays, I've been spending some time experimenting with meatless recipes that make dishes that are substantial enough to serve as entrees. My most recent foray led me to a series of recipes that utilize quinoa as a protein source. Contrary to popular opinion, quinoa is not a grain. It is actually the seed of a plant that is related to spinach. The seeds have a nutty, smoky flavor that is quite pleasing and they have the added advantage of being less filling that similar grains or pasta. Most quinoa is grown in the poor soil of the Andes region of South America. Despite that, it has been identified as one of the best sources of protein to be found in the vegetable kingdom. As a matter of fact, scientists have found that the quality of its protein is the equivalent of that found in dairy products. The ease with which it can be grown and its nutritional content make it a boon to the poor of the world, as well as you and me. I've found and tested two recipes that I think are outstanding and I want to share one of them with you today. I really loved this salad. Here, quinoa is paired with edamame, an immature or green soybean, to produce a delicious meal that packs a nutritional punch. The recipe was develop for Eating Well magazine, so that should come as no surprise. I do hope that those of you who are trying to reduce your dependence on animal protein you will try this salad. You won't regret it. Here's the recipe.

Warm Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Lemon-Tarragon Dressing

Ingredients...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Eating Well Magazine


1 cup quinoa, (see Cook's Note)

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed (10 ounces)

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup drained and diced jarred roasted red peppers, (3 ounces)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, preferably toasted (see Cook's Note)


1) Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.

2) Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook gently for 8 minutes. Remove pan lid and, without disturbing quinoa, add edamame. Cover and continue to cook until edamame and quinoa are tender, 7 to 8 minutes longer. Drain any remaining water, if necessary.

3) Whisk lemon zest and juice, oil, tarragon and salt in a large bowl. Add peppers and quinoa mixture. Toss to combine. Divide among 4 plates and top with walnuts. Yield: 4 servings.

Cook's Notes:

1) Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

2) Toasting quinoa before cooking improves its flavor and rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering.

3) To toast walnuts: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Quinoa with Vodka-Tomato Sauce - Pham Fatale

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - Chef In You

Quinoa Veggie Burgers - Wicked Good Dinner

Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant with Marsala Tomatoes - The Baking Barrister

Tomato Basil Quinoa Salad - Chantel's Recipes

Lemon Scented Quinoa - Stylish Cuisine

Spinach and Feta Quinoa Salad - Closet Cooking

Quinoa, Corn and Edamame Salad - Melting Mama

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