Quinoa is a marvelously versatile grain with a wonderfully crunchy texture and a mild, nutty flavor. It substitutes well for couscous and rice, and it's packed with protein and healthy fiber.
In this recipe, developed by Chef Tony Baker of Monterey's marvelous Montrio Bistro, quinoa contrasts beautifully with fresh summer produce as a delightful side dish. Try it under a piece of simply prepared mild white fish or chicken, and finish the combination with his Sorrel Aioli. Delicious!
ripe tomatoes, diced
cucumber (peeled and diced)
red onion (diced)
fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (cut into thin strips, called chiffonade)
fresh mint (cut into thin strips, called chiffonade)
fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
In a medium saucepan, toast the quinoa in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add the broth and salt, then cover and simmer until the grains are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Fluff the hot quinoa with a fork and place in a bowl. Add the diced vegetables, parsley, mint, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir gently until well combined, then season with salt and black pepper to taste.