Even though we are beyond Labor Day, we are experiencing one of those New England heat waves where the temperatures and humidity almost make one long for winter. Well, maybe not.
I discovered this quinoa-based salad from Leah Matthews in Vegetarian Times. It really is delicious and, as Chef Matthews intended, reminds me of a tabbouleh. The substitution of quinoa for the more traditional bulgur, makes this one gluten-free for those with sensitivities.
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (2 1/2 cups)
- 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced (3/4 cups)
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- Original recipe instructions reference toasted pine nuts – I used about 1/2 cup blanch almonds in place)
- Bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and small “tails” bloom from the grain.
- Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Spread pine nuts on baking sheet and toast 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, then transfer to larger serving bowl (see last ingredient above).
- Drain quinoa, and rinse under cold running water. Drain again. Add quinoa to pine nuts and stir in cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Fold in oil lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
With the recent string of hot and humid days, neither of us has felt inclined to heat up our condo by turning on the oven. We love salads made with fresh greens, but after a bit, that gets a little worn out as a dinner option. Cooking Light published this tasty variation on Succotash by Callie Nash in their May 2017 issue and it is terrific. A quick sauté of chopped onions with the addition of Edamame and corn is about all the kitchen heat that is generated, making this a great salad for hot and humid days.
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernals, thawed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 TBSP fresh dill (USE FRESH)
- 2 TBSP chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (USE FRESH)
- 2 TBSP sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until tender (about 4 mins).
- Add edamame; cook stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add corn; cook. stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl; cool 10 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, feta, dill, parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper.
We are in the middle of a New England heat wave, so I’m making an attempt not to heat up our living space beyond tolerable. So with that goal in mind, I went on an Internet search for summer vegetarian salads and came up with this gem from Food & Wine’s September 2009 issue. Summer Farro Salad originated with Marco Canora and the link to his original article is here.
Previously when I’ve cooked with the Italian grain, farro, If you are unfamiliar with this ancient grain, this article from Spruce Eats has a great overview. I’ve found the preparation (soaking, cooking, cooling) to be a bit off-putting. In reading F&W’s recipe, the Farro is simmered with aromatics for about 20 minutes total – way more approachable for those of us for whom cooking is more spontaneous.
- 1/3 cups + 2 TBSP extra virgin Olive Oil
- 1 small yellow onion, quartered
- 1 small carrot, halved
- 1 celery rib, halved
- 12 oz. farro (1 3/4 cups)
- 5 cups water
- kosher salt
- 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
- Fresh pepper
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1 small seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 pint grape comatoes halved
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of the oil. Add the yellow onion, carrot and celery, cover and cook over moderately low heat until barely softened, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and stir to coat with oil. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the farro is barely tender (about 10 minutes). Season with salt. Cover and simmer until the farro is al dente (about 10 more minutes). Drain the farro and discard the onion, carrot, and celery. Let cool completely.
- In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the cooked farro, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper and serve.