Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quinoa-Black Bean Salad With Roasted Vegetables & Tahini

Quinoa-Black Bean Salad With Roasted Vegetables & Tahini

If you make the green tahini sauce from this week's grilled vegetables recipe {and I hope you do because it is one of the most fabulous sauces ever invented - and I can say that without a stitch of arrogance because it is not my invention} you are going to have some left over. And I think you'll realize it is too good to toss and then you'll scratch your head thinking: what am I going to do with this leftover sauce that I am still craving yet have no game plan for? 

Anticipating your quandary I threw together this salad last night and tossed in my leftover green tahini sauuce and declared this salad good enough to share with you. And I know what you are thinking. Quinoa again? I know. Sometimes I wonder if quinoa is to this decade what wheat germ was to the 1970's. Will we look back on ourselves and laugh at all the gushing we did over quinoa, armed with new conclusive evidence that quinoa is not the superfood we once thought it was? I optimistically think not. There is too much goodness associated with quinoa - one of the healthiest {true}whole grains...and wheat-free for those who are eschewing gluten or wheat. 

So with quinoa here to stay, I tossed it with black beans and then folded in roasted vegetables. You can use whatever vegetables you like - I happened to have baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and a Vidalia onion on hand. 

Then I tossed in a generous amount of green tahini and finished with a few sprinkles of sunflower seeds.

And gave it a gentle stir as you would bibimbap:
 - like this traditional one: Korean Bibimbap
 - or your own take, like this one:  Mexican Bibimbap

Quinoa-Black Bean Salad With Roasted Vegetables & Tahini

1 c qunioa
2 c vegetable broth
1 - 15 oz can black beans, drained, rinsed and drained again
1 c baby carrots, halved lengthwise and then halved widthwise
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c sweet white onion cut into chunks
3 T unsalted sunflower seeds
- and for the green tahini sauce
150 ml tahini paste {approx 1/2 c + 2 T}
150 ml water
80 ml lemon juice {approx 1/3 c}
2 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 t salt
30 g Italian flat leaf parsley {approx 1 oz}

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and combine with vegetable broth in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover, simmering for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff.

While the quinoa is cooking, roast the vegetables. I put them on one baking sheet lined with parchment paper, but kept the three vegetables separate for easy removal {tomatoes have a shorter roasting time for this recipe}. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes and carefully transfer tomatoes to a plate to cool - they should be blistered but still holding their shape. Stir the onion and carrots and roast for more 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

While the vegetables are roasting, make the green tahini if you haven't already. Place all tahini ingredients except the parsley in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the parsley and process again for a couple of seconds. Set aside. 

To assemble the salad, combine quinoa and black beans in a large bowl and then divide among 4 serving bowls. Add roasted vegetables, spoon green tahini sauce on and finish with sunflower seeds. Let everyone give their bowl a gentle stir.

Serves 4.

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Source: Jill Crusenberry;  green tahini, Ottolenghi

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