Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hummus and Quinoa: A Match Made in Heaven

Earlier this summer, I went to an outdoor baby shower at Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was blazing hot, but that did not stop my appetite. The mom-to-be's mother in law is an amazing cook (and owner of a deli in Ithaca, NY that specializes in Middle Eastern food). She put out an amazing spread of grain- and vegetable-based dishes that were perfect for a hot afternoon, as well as a variety of dips and spreads.

So of course, when I got home, I fought the heat exhaustion and attempted to recreate a quinoa salad with herbs and beans (as well as creamy hummus using the Cook's Illustrated method). The quinoa salad served at the shower was extremely light and fluffy, with fresh herbs, crisp celery, black beans and artichoke hearts tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. I gilded the lily and added feta cheese and additional vegetables to my version. Frankly, I wished I left them out. This salad is best dressed right before serving, as it gets a tad soggy after sitting. And of course, it is best eaten outside, with friends, in the sunshine.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Fresh Herbs


1 C. Quinoa, rinsed

1 3/4 C. Water

1 Lemon, juiced

.25 C. Olive Oil

2 Scallions, thinly sliced

1 stalk Celery, finely diced

1 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

.25 C. Minced herbs (cilantro, mint, basil or some combination thereof)


Freshly Ground Black Pepper


In a small pan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, cover and turn down heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil.

Add scallions and celery and beans and toss to coat. Add slightly cooled quinoa and herbs.

Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

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