March 5, 2009

Quinoa and Blood Orange Salad

I'm sick with my first cold in over a year and really ready for winter to be over. In the past months I've paid my dues eating lots of local rutabagas and turnips but now I need a break. So I'm indulging myself with blood oranges and herbs from points south. Have you seen the prices on blood oranges? Just a few years ago you'd have to pay a buck an orange and now they're less than $2 per pound. Of course the ones on sale are tiny but they're still a nice break from Midwest winter food.

In my ongoing pantry cleaning, I found the last box of quinoa left from 2008. Recently I found a more foolproof method for cooking quinoa. The key is to let the grains rest in the middle of the cooking process. If you look closely at the quinoa in the closeup shot nothing is sticking together, the little curly-cue husks are still attached, there is just a tiny dot of uncooked middle and overall the quinoa is fluffy with a nice bite. I paired the quinoa and blood oranges with fresh parsley and mint and a light dressing. For a short while it kept me from thinking about winter dragging on outside.

Quinoa and Blood Orange Salad
Makes enough for 2 as a side dish or one large serving

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1-2 tablespoon(s) sliced fresh spearmint
2 small blood oranges, supremed (see video at the end of this post for a demonstration)

-Place the quinoa and water in a microwave safe bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Cook on high in the microwave for 8 minutes. After the 8 minutes stir the quinoa, mixing any grains that climbed the side of the container back into the water. Recover loosely and let sit for 8-10 minutes. After that time has passed, cook again on high for 2 minutes or until there is only the faintest dot of uncooked center in the quinoa, like the center of al dente pasta. Uncover and allow to rest while you prepare the rest of the salad.
-In your serving bowl, stir together the shallot, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add the quinoa, parsley and mint and stir to coat everything evenly with the dressing.
-Top with the blood orange supremes and serve at room temperature.





This is my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, a food blogging event created by Kalyn's Kitchen. The event is now run and documented by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Once. Haalo is also hosting this week's roundup.

34 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

BEYOND gorgeous dish - love quinoa!!


Get 100% well soon!!

Heather said...

i just love blood oranges. they remind me of sitting at the beach in sicily. they're so lovely and flavorful. this salad sounds great :)

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

That looks lovely!

Get well quickly!

Esi said...

I hope you feel better soon! This is such an interesting way of cooking quinoa. I will have to try it sometime.

Nila Rosa said...

This looks great. I always try to find quinoa in the stores, but I haven't come across it yet.

Maybe I'll have more luck once I move out east.

Nila Rosa said...

Hope you feel better soon.

Amanda said...

Yum..that looks delicious. The winter is dragging on for sure..I look forward to spring produce soon but that's not for a while here in Boston! Hope you feel better soon!

The Other Tiger said...

Looks delicious! I even have some blood oranges that are in need of a purpose in life. I'll have to try your method of cooking the quinoa in the microwave. I cook it all the time and love it, but the results never look very photo-friendly.

ttfn300 said...

GREAT dish! surely it'll help heal :)

Ricki said...

I have to admit I've never been a fan of blood oranges (maybe it's the name??), but this does sound delish. And hope you feel better, soon!

Donna-FFW said...

Maggie- What a GORGEOUS dish. It looks almost too pretty to eat. The blood oranges alone, OMG! It all looks so wonderful. I hope you are well on your way to feeling better.

5 Star Foodie said...

An absolutely gorgeous salad. I love the individual quinoa grains and the contrast between them and the blood oranges. Beautiful!

The Food Librarian said...

What a beautiful dish! I love blood oranges too. Get well soon!

Rachel said...

Throw some edible flowers on this and you would have had a Royal Joust entry! Just discovered quinoa last year and really love it. I have bookmarked this recipe.

Olga said...

What a gorgeous salad!!! I haven't had blood oranges this season yet.

have you tried Cara Cara oranges? they are amazing.

DJ Karma said...

Love quinoa! I like the cute little tails that come out, but have never tried them al dente like that- next time!

shellyfish said...

I hope you're feeling better, Maggie! Those MI winters can seem rather long - here's to sunshine and warm temps. Those oranges look just mouth-watering!

Sweetie Pie said...

Yum! I love quinoa and those blood oranges look so pretty. Great dish!

Sophie said...

This dish looks Superb!! I do not cook quinoa enough, so I will give a try!! Thanks!!!

glamah16 said...

That salad woulf revive me with the colors and taste. I love seeing the signs of spring in the produce aisle.

Kevin said...

That is a nice looking salad!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That looks gorgeous Maggie! I love blood oranges, but have not been able to find them here...I used to get them at Trader Joe's all the time when I was in New England, but in Florida, the citrus state, there are none to be found! Maybe when we go to Italy?

talesofexpansion said...

your quinoa DOES look perfectly cooked!! thanks for sharing your procedure :-)

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Great tip on the quinoa cooking and I love the closeups showing the segments of blood orange and quinoa!

zerrin said...

Looks Amazing! I wish I could taste such a healthy salad, but we don't have quinoa here in Turkey. And the photograps is fantastaic with those vivid colors.

Daily Spud said...

Am a big quinoa fan - will have to try your alternate method for cooking same. As for your salad, it really is an utter defiance to all things winter - get thee hence and bring on the summer :) Hope it helped you to feel better!

Jo said...

Can you believe that I've never eaten quinao before but it sure does look interesting.

pigpigscorner said...

I love quinoa! Lovely presentation.

kitchenetta said...

Mmm. This looks delicious. I just love blood oranges. Great presentation!

chriesi said...

Sounds lovely!

Ingrid said...

Love quinoa. This salad look so pretty.

Kalyn said...

Very creative combination. The blood oranges are gorgeous!

TavoLini said...

I hope you are feeling better!!

That salad looks like it would perk up most any gray day :)

jdeq said...

This looks delicious - blood oranges seem to be in full season right now os I shall have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.