Friday, July 13, 2007

The great "What was in my fridge on Saturday" salad


The phone call came around noon last Saturday: "So, are you going to the beach? We're just making some white bean and tuna salad and I think some watermelon juice too..." A Picnic? Yay! But wait, I don't have any food. Am I going to have to go to the grocery store, waste time in a line up on this perfect sunny day? This reluctance to make the 3-block trip to the store has lead to some of my best meals lately. There's such a thrill in thinking you can't possible make something with the few unrelated bits in the fridge, and then discovering that after a few minutes of staring into space and letting your mind run wild, you can!

On this particular day it was a ripe mango sitting on the counter + cucumber leftover from my trip to the farmer's market + half a jar of quinoa in the cupboard + thoughts of agave nectar floating around in my head ever since making white sangria a few weeks ago... Here's what it became:

Quinoa Summer Salad with Mango and Cucumber
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
salt

1 mango, diced
1/2 long English cucumber, diced
1/4 red onion, minced
1 cup shredded arugula
1 garlic scape, sliced as finely as possible

[dressing]
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
1 serrano chile, with seeds, minced

* note: this makes a small-ish quantity – enough if it's one of many dishes at a picnic, but you may want to double it if it's more of a main dish

1. First, prepare the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold, running water. Bring water to boil in a pot, add the quinoa and salt and bring to a boil again. Cover and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest covered for 5 minutes. Strain off any excess liquid and spread the quinoa out on a try to cool.

2. Chop all of the other salad ingredients and combine with the cooled quinoa.

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, and pour over salad. Stir to coat.

1 comment:

Laura said...

It's funny - I was going to ask you to post this recipe. Thanks! Both salads worked well together, hey? It's odd how that works out - I guess that's the potluck ideal. Ah, summer food.

You know, what's in your fridge always seems to be a tad more interesting than what's in mine...