Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mediterranean Quinoa

Mediterranean Quinoa


3/4 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
1/4 cups pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 bunch fresh baby spinach, cut chiffonade
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Greek Dressing - recipe below
handful toasted pine nuts
3/4 cup crumbled goat feta cheese
1 grilled chicken breast, cooled and chopped - optional

Greek Dressing:
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Whisk ingredients for dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper

Directions for quinoa:

1. In a medium bowl, cover quinoa with cool water and rub grains between fingers. Let grain settle, pour off water and repeat 2 more times. This removes the outer coating of the grain that can be bitter when cooked.
2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, add drained quinoa and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover, lower heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until water is absorbed.
3. Let cool and fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool all the way before adding other ingredients.
4. Once quinoa is cooled, add the artichokes, olives, spinach, tomatoes, parsley, feta and dressing (add chicken if using).
5. Toss to mix well and top with pine nuts.
6. Let chill in the refrigerator before serving.