I was attending our weekly get together to reminisce on the happenings of the previous day’s, catch up on the short amount of time I have been absent from everyone’s lives and of course to indulge myself in the finest of culinary arts that my family and friends have mastered over the past decade. The one thing that I had the pleasure of engulfing without hesitation, that which I still cannot seem to get off my mind is the perfect combination of flavors a salad can possess while still keeping under my calorie counter limit. It took me 2 whole hours of following my Nana around and helping with the catering to finally get a name and recipe out of her, followed by these wise words of wisdom: “The recipe is one I shall give you but the flavor is something that will depend solely on you”. A smile across my face and the memory of the karate kid running through my mind as I scurry to write everything down and eagerly plan my shopping for tomorrows evening dinner. The Recipe is as Follows:
Winter Greens + Crispy Quinoa Salad which served about 6 with these ingredients.
Another quick note before you start, when cooking the quinoa for this salad specifically to help it crisp up during this phase you will want to use a 1 – 1.5 ratios of quinoa to liquid when you are cooking. For example, I use ½ cup rinsed quinoa in a ¾ cup vegetable broth. You will want it a bit drier, slightly undercooked before you put it on the frying pan to get it nice and crispy. And let’s continue:
– 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
– ¾ cup cooked and completely cooled down quinoa
– 1 head butter lettuce
– 2 cups of arugula
– ¾ cup of toasted hazelnuts chopped roughly
– 1 cup of pomegranate seeds. (i’m not sure if you can purchase them seperately but I peeled and pulled them out myself.
And now for the Dressing which Nana always said she added a special ingredient only to be referred to as love.
– ¼ Cup meyer lemon juice
– 1 Clove of garlic, finely minced or grated
– 2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar
– 1 Tbsp of Honey
– 1 Tsp of sea salt
– 1 Tsp of dried italian herbs (I used a mix of oregano, parsley and basil)
– I can’t stress this enough but only a pinch of pepper
– ? cup of whole milk greek yogurt or sour cream will do
– 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
Now that we have all the necessary things to create this masterpiece let’s try to make this without eating it halfway through. Start by heating the coconut oil over high heat in a regular frying pan. Once it’s hot add the cooked quinoa and saute for roughly 2 to 3 minutes until it’s dry and crispy. You will want to hear the crackling and see the steam release, add a bit more oil if need and set aside to cool off completely. While that is cooling down you have a perfect moment to prepare the dressing. Whisk the lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and the yogurt in a bowl. Whisk in the oil, taste for seasoning and alter it as you wish depending on your taste and the best thing is that this can be made up to a week in advance. Let’s move on to the greens, toss both in the dressing to coat and top it with the crispy quinoa, hazelnuts and pom seeds if preferred and serve immediately otherwise you will run the chance of eating everything yourself. Here’s a picture and I’m still perfecting it, added some radish. pass it on and enjoy!