The Savory Way: Quinoa Salad w/ Dried Fruits & Pine Nuts
So far so good on the storm front, but I’m queuing this post up a day ahead of time, so we’ll see. I have to admit–so glad not to be on the coastline, my thoughts go out to anyone on the seaboard–this storm is terrifying. My biggest concern: all of the summer vegetables I froze. I swear, if it doesn’t get cold enough to preserve them outside, I’ll be more than upset. All that work and love…just to potentially lose it. Fingers and toes crossed that the power stays.
This second-to-last Vegan MoFo post comes courtesy of Deborah Madison’s The Savory Way. Originally published in 1990, The Savory Way is a fantastic vegetarian cookbook that focuses on the simpler (yet flavorful) ways of preparing vegetables, legumes, and grains. My copy lacks illustrations which is great because it focuses solely on the recipes–all 400 pages of them–and I’m once again ashamed to admit that I’ve rarely cooked from it.
Plenty of recipes are on my to-make list–a simple yet fantastic looking Mushrooms on Toast, Olive Bread, Fig and Rocket Salad, Winter Squash Soup with Cinnamon, Cloves, and Mint, Twisted Noodles with Olive Sauce, Red Cabbage Braised in Red Wine, Celery Root Gratin, Spiced Peaces in Syrup–the list goes on and on.
When I was in Atlanta, I spent the evening with my brother’s family in the ‘burbs and cooked up a quick family meal featuring this quinoa salad. Always a bit tricky, trying to figure out what a 4 and and 2 year old will eat, but, thankfully, this salad passed everyone’s palate and was a home run. (I’m seriously thrilled that those kids will eat qunioa–how cool is that?!) A simple salad with a mix of quinoa, apricots, currants, chives, and pine nuts tossed in a lemon spiced vinaigrette, it’s an easy side dish to serve with any protein or casserole. Though I rarely cook with dried fruits, I’m a convert after this salad and I think I’ll need to start experimenting more with apricots–I loved the bright sweetness they added to the dish. While we enjoyed the salad warm, it would be fantastic at room temperature as well, and you can even make it fat free by replacing the oil with a bit of water.
Once again, I’m glad that this MoFo theme forced me to crack open this book (which I bought over 2 years ago at Kitchen Witch in New Orleans). Madison’s take on vegetables and fruit–how to seasonally and freshly prepare them–is a great resource for the beginner and the more experience cook. The recipes are also a great reminder that sometimes the best dishes are the simple ones and that the ingredients themselves should be the star, not the technique or the oddness of the combination. I think The Savory Way is Madison’s first cookbook, so I can’t wait to check out others to see how her ideas changed over the years, but I’d also put money down that they haven’t changed all that much because it seems like something good is going on in this first book.
Again, much love to everyone out on the coast and, assuming all fares well here, I’ll be back for the final post of Vegan MoFo 2012 tomorrow! Twenty-one posts and counting–I think that’s a record for me!
Quinoa Salad with Dried Fruits & Pine Nuts
From The Savory Way
For the Quinoa:
1 c quinoa
2 c water
6 dried apricots, finely diced
2 tbsp snipped chives
1/4 c dried currants, softened in hot water & squeezed dry
3 tbsp finely diced yellow bell pepper
3 tbsp pine nuts
For the Vinaigrette:
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp chopped parsley
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
4 tbsp olive oil
Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a bowl of cold water, then pour into a fine-meshed strainer and rinse again under running tap water. Bring the water to a boil, add salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp), and stir in the quinoa. Lower the heat to a low simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 15 minutes. Taste the grain–there should be just a little resistance and the opaque spiraled ring of germ should show. If necessary, continue cooking until done, then pour into a strainer and set it to drain over a bowl. Save the liquid, which can replace the oil in the dressing if you prefer.)
While the quinoa is cooking, cut the apricots and vegetables, keeping everything as fine and even as possible. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium-low eat until they are golden brown.
To make the vinaigrette, combine the lemon zest, juice, spices, herbs, and salt together in a bowl. Stir to combine, then whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance of the flavors, adding more lemon juice if necessary.
To compose the salad, toss the warm quinoa with the fruits, vegetables, pine nuts, and dressing.