I had this bee in my bonnet about using carrots for dinner today, but I didn't want to chop them into a basic salad, and I didn't want to cook them again, and I still haven't pickled any, so I am kind of up against a wall.
A quick web engine search found a Danny Boome recipe for carrots and couscous, and I thought, what the heck - I'll try my own version, but with quinoa, as it's Meatless Monday, which, uh, kind of fell apart when I was eating lunch and realized that my leftover bulgogi and rice didn't quite fit the parameters of said weekday.
Now, again, I was using what I had, and this recipe is what I had. Editorial in just a moment...
Carrot and Quinoa Salad
- 1/2 c quinoa
- 5/8 c water*
- a few little carrots from our CSA, shredded
- red leaf lettuce, chopped
- handful (or so) Craisins®
- one or two green onions, chopped
- a bit of parsley (I used flat leaf, but you could also use curly leaf), chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- preserved lemon (I used the basic preserved lemons, not the Moroccan ones), chopped
- white wine, divided (by divided, I mean some for the pan and some for the cook)
Combine the quinoa, water, cumin, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce to low; allow to cook for about 20 minutes; remove from heat and fluff with fork (or the toddler spoon that was more convenient, whatever).
Swirl a little oil in a saute pan, and heat over medium to medium-high heat (if you have a more reliable stove top, you might know exactly where it needs to be, but it's always a crap shoot with mine). Add onions and parsley, and cook until tender. Add the lemon and Craisins®; add wine to deglaze the pan. Take a sip of wine from your wine glass.
Add the fluffed quinoa to the saute pan. Remove from heat; add the carrots and lettuce. Serve immediately.
*The ratio that I used for cooking the quinoa was 1:1.25. If you want to double this recipe, you'd have a cup of quinoa and one and a quarter cup water.
Okee dokee.... so, I didn't really like the lettuce in it. I tried to keep it crunchy, but the quinoa mix was still too warm, so it wilted. Wilted lettuce is not as good as wilted spinach. I am kind of regretting not using the rest of our arugula, but I was concerned that there would be too many flavors going on. That being said, the flavors of nothing really came out, so if I were to make this again, I would do one or more of the following:
- use a different green (preferably spinach or chard)
- add more preserved lemons
- add more cinnamon and cumin
- use a broth instead of water for the quinoa
- add salt, pepper, garlic, or something else - perhaps some red pepper flakes
But this definitely has possibilities. I just have to work on it. Goodness knows we have enough carrots.
Now, if you are one of the three people who check this blog regularly, you may notice that the format has changed a bit. I am now an official Featured Publisher on Foodbuzz! I've already found a lot of great recipes through this site, so I'm excited to be a more active part of it. Who knows - maybe you'll see me in the Top 9 soon.
Finally, please make sure to check back Wednesday, as I'll be the guest blogger at Frosting for the Cause!