Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

photo updated 10.15.13
This is a staple in our house - and so versatile. You can follow the skeleton I've provided below, use it as an excuse to clean out your fridge, or use some items from the pantry that you've been itching to try. As long as there is quinoa and chickpeas around, there are endless options.

1 c. organic quinoa

2 c. water

1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3-6 scallions (depending on size), or 1/2 a small sweet onion

10-20 (depending on size) grape tomatoes, halved

1 14 oz can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and cut into quarters or eighths, depending on size

1/2 c. cubed hard cheese, such as parmesan, asiago, sharp cheddar, etc. 

couple good handfuls of olives, halved (kalamata, green, or any favorite variety) or capers

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice of half a lemon

pinch of salt

lots of pepper
photo updated 10.15.13
-Combine quinoa and water in a medium pot and bring to a good simmer on medium high, stirring occasionally. Once at a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff continuously with only a fork, to cool down quicker.

-As the quinoa cooks, prep the other ingredients, starting with the dryer items first as to not muck up the cutting board before its time. 

-Place prepped ingredients in bowl, and add vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

-Once the quinoa is cooled, add it to the bowl and mix very well
photo updated 10.15.13

This salad is best at room temperature, but it is good cold as well. As I've mentioned, the options are endless. Leave out the cheese for a vegan dish, or use a cheese as a springboard for your version of the salad. Feta, kalamata olives, and lightly sauteed baby spinach with lots of lemon and garlic for a greek twist, or a good quality gruyere with sauteed leeks and french peas, with lentils in lieu of chickpeas for a french flair. Omit the vinegar if you're not a fan, just add more lemon juice. I adore vinegar, so I add a lot, and usually end up adding more as the salad sits in the fridge to freshen it up a bit. This dish keeps very well up to a week in the fridge, tightly covered with plastic wrap or in a tightly sealed container.
photo updated 10.15.13

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