Colorful quinoa salad will please vegetarians

TheKitchn.comMarch 12, 2013 

  • How to segment citrus fruit

    Supreming is the technique of dividing a citrus fruit into its segments, removing the skin, pith, membranes and seeds. You can use any citrus: oranges, grapefruits, even lemons. You need a small, sharp paring knife and a cutting board.

    1. Slice a little off the top and bottom. This gives you a stable cutting surface and will also make it easier to trim away the rest of the peel.

    2. Trim away the skin and pith. Start at the top and slice downward following the curve of the fruit. Try to cut away all of the skin and the pith without taking too much of the fruit, although you can go back afterward to trim up spots you missed.

    3. Cut into one of the segments: Use a paring knife and have a bowl ready to catch the citrus juices. Slip the knife between one of the segments and the connective membrane. Cut until you reach the middle of the orange, but don’t cut through any of the membrane.

    4. Scoop out the segment. Use a scooping motion to turn the knife back on itself, hook under the bottom edge of the citrus segment, and pry it away. The side that is still attached to a membrane will peel away, leaving you with a perfect wedge.

    5. Repeat with the other segments.

Quinoa and black beans are pillars of my pantry. In summer, I toss them into a satisfying, protein-packed salad with ripe tomatoes. In winter, I replace the tomatoes with something just as refreshing yet more seasonally appropriate: vibrant, juicy oranges.

A quinoa and black bean salad makes an easy, wholesome lunch or a good side for supper. Gluten-free and vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, it’s also an ideal dish to share at potlucks and other gatherings.

In addition to fresh orange segments, this salad has an orange-coriander dressing made with orange juice, orange zest, cilantro leaves and toasted coriander seeds. It brightens up the palate and is just the sort of comforting yet cheerful nourishment we crave this time of year.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Citrus-Coriander Dressing 1 cup uncooked quinoa (any color), rinsed and drained 2 large oranges 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon honey or agave nectar 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked black beans, rinsed and drained 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

PLACE quinoa and 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat. Simmer about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.

PREPARE oranges while quinoa is cooling. Finely grate the zest of one orange and set aside. Cut oranges into segments (see box), reserving the juice, and set aside.

WHISK together orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, coriander seeds, salt, a few cracks of pepper and chopped cilantro in a small bowl. Adjust seasonings if desired.

PLACE quinoa, black beans, onion and orange segments in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.

SERVE immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. YIELD: 4-6 servings.

Emily Ho is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a blog for people who love food and home cooking.

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