The combination of ginger and citrus immediately steered me towards Asian flavors. That brought to mind some comments made on my Gingered Sweet Pickled Cauliflower post. A comment from Salt & Turmeric was that the pickles would be good with biryani. I decided to try making a cold quinoa salad with the flavors and ingredients found in vegetable biryani. Here's my recipe:
Biryani Inspired Quinoa Salad
Makes 6 servings
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup dry lentils
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup diced onion
juice from 1 1/2 limes
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup raisins
1 medium zucchini, julienned
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup sliced almonds
-Cook the lentils: Add the lentils to a saucepan and cover with water (an inch above the lentils is good). Bring to a boil and then simmer 15-30 minutes until completely cooked through. Drain and allow to cool.
-Add the oil and curry powder to a pan to toast the spices. Carefully fry the spices ~1 minute over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions soften.
-Add the lime juice, zest, agave nectar, salt, cayenne pepper and raisins to a bowl and mix together. Add the quinoa, zucchini, and carrots and toss gently. Taste for seasoning and add more lime juice, cayenne or salt as needed.
-Top with almonds and serve. Good with my Gingered Sweet Pickled Cauliflower on the side.
My quinoa was much, much better with Nikki's tips. I think it could have been cooked a tiny smidge longer but it had the desired crunch and wasn't mushy. I'll need a little more practice to get it perfect. I loved the curry spice on the quinoa and the raisins and nuts for sweetness and crunch. I think I'd like to try chickpeas instead of lentils the next time I make this. The size of the lentils was too similar to the size of the quinoa. In all, this was a tasty dish worth making again to perfect my quinoa skills. It'll be interesting to try different vegetable combinations depending on what's available.
Top Chef: The Tour in Detroit
Gingered Sweet Pickled Cauliflower recipe
The Royal Foodie Joust
The Leftover Queen
Kittens in the Kitchen (Awesome blog name!)
Salt & Turmeric (Thanks for the inspiration!)