This recipe adapted from Cooking Light features a tiny grain with a texture lighter than rice. Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is often dubbed “supergrain” because it is rich in many nutrients, particularly protein. If apricots are in season where you live, substitute the fresh~ about 6, coarsely chopped~in place of the dried.
3 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1/3 cup dried apricots (about 10), quartered
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine) or slightly sweet white wine (such as Riesling)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
To prepare the salad, combine water, quinoa, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa mixture through a sieve over a bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking liquid. Combine quinoa mixture, lettuce, and next 8 ingredients (lettuce through black pepper) in a large bowl; set aside.
To prepare the vinaigrette, combine reserved 3 tablespoons cooking liquid, lime rind, and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Pour vinaigrette over quinoa mixture, and toss well to coat.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)