Monday, August 3, 2009

Quinoa salad with toasted garbanzos and black olives

I invented this concoction a couple of months ago but only got around to making it 2 days ago. Of course it evolved between conception and execution. This end result is a truly lovely dish to accompany the protein of your choice or just to be a stand-alone lunch (maybe with some crusty bread).

I chose the small olives so that I didn’t feel I had to cut them up – thus saving a little time. It is not essential to toast the garbanzos, but they do take on a nutty tastiness if you do toast them. I love cumin. However, maybe you don’t. Try adding a bit of fresh oregano or thyme or basil or all three.

Quinoa is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Manganese.

Quinoa salad w/black olives and garbanzos
1 14.5 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 serrano pepper, ½ seeded, ½ not seeded
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup quinoa
1 ¾ cup chicken broth
1 14.5 oz. can small black olives, drained, rinsed, and dried
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped (optional)

Place the garbanzos in a non-stick pan large enough to hold them in one layer. Toast over medium heat until lightly browned, 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the shallot, Serrano pepper and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes or until softened.

Add the quinoa and stir to coat. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer slowly about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the quinoa to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

To the bowl add olives, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper to taste, and mint (if using). Toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Allow to come to room temperature. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.

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