Quinoa and Edamame Salad

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My mom included quinoa in my last care package, and I was pretty stoked to see it.  Brown rice is fine, but I’m definitely starting to get a little tired of it, and I want to play around a little more with different whole grains.

I found some fresh edamame at the store the other day, and since then I’ve never seen it there again, so I guess I just got really lucky!  As usual when I need inspiration, I turned to my google reader. I found a great recipe for edamame salad with shiso and lemon, two things that are easy for me to find. To make a more filling and balanced meal, I added some quinoa (and cucumber for crunch) and the result was this surprisingly filling (and really healthy!) salad.

The lemon was strong but not overpowering, and the shiso added a complementary depth to the citrus flavor. Shiso (or perilla) is common in Korean and Japanese cooking, and you should be able to find it at an Asian grocery store, or possibly the farmers market. If you can’t find it, a little bit of mint might work (since they’re in the same family), but I haven’t tried it out myself.

Recipe:
(adapted from The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen via 101 Cookbooks)

1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups water
1 cup cooked, shelled edamame
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped shiso, loosely packed
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp (loosely packed) lemon zest
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
pinch salt
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Put the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then transfer to a bowl.
Add cucumber, shiso leaf, and edamame, and toss to combine.
Whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and salt.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and stir.
Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil and mix well to serve.  Garnish with some thinly sliced shiso.

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