Weekend Cookbook Challange #14: Salads!

There are a tonne of blog events available to participate in. Some weekly, some monthly, some one off events. Ideally I could participate in all of them, but that isn't realistic. Instead I have to pick and choose. Or in this case, happen to have a recipe, with pictures, ready to try when I come across an event!

The Weekend Cookbook challenge was started by Sara of I like to Cook. Sara is the wonderful blogger who got me in the CBBP several months back, a lady who writes a lovely blog called I like to cook. Her challenge is to cook from a new book every month, and provide a recipe for that months theme. Each month is hosted by another blogger, with this month's being hosted by Tami of Running with Tweezers. Salad is the theme.

I admit, I'm cheating some. I didn't plan to participate. It's March 2nd, there is a snowstorm outside my windows, and salads are just not calling to me right now. They are too cold.

And I didn't pull out a cookbook I've never used before (boy am I completely ignoring the rules!) Instead I made one up, a hearty salad, one to help you get over the winter blahs, and fill you up.

Actually some of that isn't totally true either - I had this salad from the gourmet kitchen of my neighborhood Farm Boy this past summer. It was so good I ate it every day for over a week. And I emailed the company to see if they would part with the recipe - they wouldn't. So I wrote down everything that I thought was in in, and this past weekend, managed to recreate it.

Introducing Quinoa salad!

I can't give exact measurements - I don't have any. I can tell you what I put in it, and give a few tips, that's about all.

You will need:

sweet potato
red onion
red pepper
corn (frozen works fine)
olive oil
salt and pepper

A tip to begin. When I bought my quinoa, the woman in line behind me mentioned she'd never been able to get quinoa to taste good, so how did I plan on cooking mine? I told her I'd been taught that you have to rinse the grains very, very well in cold water before you cook them. It seems to make a huge difference, so whatever you do - don't skip this! Rinse your quinoa very well, then cook it, 1 cup of quinoa to every 1 1/2 cups of water.

While cooking your grain, cut the sweet potato into bite size chunks, toss it in some olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast it in the oven until it is sweet, tender and has a caramelized color. This leaves your hands free to dice up the onion, red pepper and cilantro, and cook or thaw your corn.

When the grain is cooked and drained, put it in a large bowl. Add in some lime zest, while it is still warm, as well as a bit of salt and pepper and the juice of at least one lime, more depending on how much quinoa you made. I cooked a large batch and ended up using 2 1/2 limes in total for my salad.

Add in your veggies, toss with some olive oil, taste, adjust the seasonings. It should taste bright, not dull, so if the flavors aren't popping at you, add more lime juice and a bit more salt.

I served mine with a pan fried piece of salmon, basted in lime juice, but had made so much I had it for lunch for the next 4 days. It was filling, flavorful and a punch of summer in the middle of a snow storm. Just what I needed!


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

A punch of summer in the middle of a snow storm. That's a great line!
Excellent job writing and the salad - rules are made to be broken!

Peabody said...

I love the colors in this salad.

Lis said...

Beautiful salad, Jenny! Everyone is posting about the quinoa! I need to finally break open that bag I have.

Your salmon looks delish as well! =)

Sara said...

What a great salad. I've been trying to cook with Quinoa for my "Q is for" post but have had no luck.

Chef Erik said...

Looks great, nice pictures, you gave me some great ideas, thanks!