Monday, May 2, 2011

SOMETHING FOR KATE - MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD

Mediterranean Quinoa with Caribbean lime fish

I love the way recipes take on a folk lore of their own.

I took this super salad from Cynthia Lair, who in turn credits a student named David St Martin. No doubt David was inspired by someone else somewhere along the way.

Quinoa is of course a SUPER food - fantastic source of protein, amino-acids and many minerals such as iron. It's not actually a grain - it's a seed - but it can be used in place of many grains. It's also easy to digest so good for babies just starting solids.

I brought Mediterranean Quinoa along to our weekly office Food Club, and it was a hit. My colleague Kate has been asking for the recipe ever since. We've had some extraordinary salads during Food Club's short life, and I wasn't the first person to bring quinoa.

Office Food Club


This was also a raging success served with Cynthia Lair's Caribbean lime white fish. Both recipes can be found in her fabulous Feeding the Whole Family.


MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD


1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup currents
1/2 block feta cheese, crumbled


Wash, rinse and drain quinoa. Place water in a small pot with salt and quinoa and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer gently with lid on until water absorbed (takes about 15-20 minutes). Don't stir, instead tilt the pan to one side or slip a fork in to see if any water on bottom. Removed lid and leave to rest for ten minutes.


Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a dry frying pan (without oil) and gently toast over medium heat. Stir regularly and remove from pan as soon as begin to change colour and give off aroma. 


Combine olive oil, lemon, mint and parsley in large bowl. Add scallions, currents and pine nuts. Add warm quinoa slowly, then feta, and combine well. Serve at room temperature.


FOR BABIES 6 MONTHS AND OLDER: Put aside a little quinoa and puree
FOR BABIES 9 MONTHS AND OLDER: Reserve some salad before feta is added and blend
FOR BABIES/TODDLERS 12 MONTHS AND OLDER: Serve salad as is

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