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Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Kosher salt, black pepper
1 ½ t. ground cumin
1 ½ t. ground coriander
4 T. good quality olive oil
1 ½ c. red quinoa, rinsed if not pre-rinsed
1 (15 ½ oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/3 c. zucchini, cut into small dice
1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. fresh corn kernels, microwaved for a few seconds
½ c. red bell pepper, seeded and in small dice
1 bunch green onions, chopped
¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, some sprigs for garnish
¼ c. fresh orange juice
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. honey
¼ t. Asian chili-garlic paste
½ c. toasted pine nuts

  1. In 3 qt. saucepan, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat. Combine salt, pepper, cumin and coriander and stir into oil and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the quinoa, stir again and add 2 c. water. Bring to boil, reduce to low simmer, cover and cook until quinoa has absorbed all the water. The germ will separated from the seed and look like a ring, about 20 minutes. If there is a little water left, bring back to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes more to boil off water. Remove pot from heat and stir once.
  3. Put a folded paper towel over the quinoa land cover with pot lid for 5 minutes. Uncover, discard paper towel and transfer quinoa to a large, shallow mixing bowl or large baking sheet where it can cool quickly. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine beans, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, peppers, green onions, cilantro or parsley, orange juice and 3 T. olive oil, lime juice, garlic, honey, chili-garlic paste and ½ t. salt. Stir well and let sit while quinoa cools, stirring occasionally.
  5. Combine black bean salad with cooled quinoa and mix thoroughly. Taste for seasoning.
  6. To serve, garnish with pine nuts and cilantro or parsley sprigs. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Can be made a day ahead.
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