Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quinoa Salad With Shiitakes, Fennel And Cashews

Quinoa Salad With Shiitakes, Fennel And Cashews Recipe

I think everybody loves a good quinoa salad and I am always on the lookout for a new delicious one to add to my favorites list.  This one is amped up with toasted, salted cashews plus a sauteed medley of garlic, shiitakes, fennel and scallions dressed with soy sauce and rice vinegar. Lime, parsley and cilantro provide an extra boost. You can stop right there and have a very good salad. For us, it was dinner time and I was in the mood for something even more robust, so we added a drizzle of sesame oil to our salads followed by a dose of Sriracha. Yum.

Quinoa Salad With Shiitakes, Fennel And Cashews

2 c quinoa
1 quart water
salt
1/4 c peanut oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 c fennel, halved and sliced {1 large bulb}
2 c sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 c sliced scallions
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1/2 c salted cashews, toasted
4 T minced fresh parsley
4 T minced fresh cilantro
zest and juice of 1 lime
sesame oil {optional}
Sriracha {optional}

Place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water.  Drain.

Place 1 quart of water in a medium pot with a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.

While you are waiting for the water to come to a boil, toast the quinoa. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add the quinoa, shaking the pan frequently, until the grains starts to turn golden and have a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes.  Transfer quinoa to the boiling water, reduce heat to low and simmer covered until the grains are translucent, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Heat peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, stirring constantly for 30 seconds, until it turns golden {not black}. Transfer the garlic with a slotted spoon to the bowl of quinoa. 

Add the fennel to the wok or skillet, stirring frequently until it caramelizes, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer fennel with a slotted spoon to the bowl of quinoa.

Add the shiitakes to the wok or skillet, stirring frequently until caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the scallions and continue to saute the mushrooms and scallions for another minute or two, until the scallions are soft. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and stir.  Transfer vegetables to the bowl of quinoa.

Add the parsley, cilantro, lime juice and lime zest to the salad.  Toss and add additional salt if desired.

To serve, divide salad among 4 to 6 bowls. Top each bowl with a drizzle of sesame oil and serve with Sriracha {optional}.

Serves 4 - 6.

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Source:  Adapted from the The Los Angeles Times

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