Quinoa for families, 192pp.
by Rena Patten
New Holland Publishers, Sydney, 2012
Cooking on page 32
My first serious encounters with quinoa were a few years back when we spent four months travelling overland through South America. When I was on cook group, I bought it often and used it in many ways. A versatile and gluten-free grain, quinoa costs about 50 cents a kilo in parts of South America. The same stuff costs $10–$15 a kilo in Australia.
Nevertheless, I like using it, and this is the second Rena Patten book I’ve acquired. My first page-32 recipe from her was a delicious buttermilk bread. This second recipe should be a cracker too because it’s filled with ingredients I love.
Preserved lemon and olive salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 x 400 g (14 oz) cans red kidney beans or lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
250 g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved or left whole
2–3 tbsp preserved lemon, finely chopped
4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1–1 1/2 lemons
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Place quinoa in small saucepan with the stock and bay leaf, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10–12 minutes until all the stock is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool completely, remove and discard bay leaf.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion and carrots until the onions soften but the carrots still retain some crunch.
Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant, remove from the heat.
Mix together the quinoa, onion and carrot mix, beans or lentils, olives, tomatoes, preserved lemon and lots of parsley.
Add the oil and lemon juice and season to taste. Toss everything together and serves.
Note: When using preserved lemons, discard the soft centre and use only the rind (although, I sometimes use all of it). You can find them at all delicatessens and most supermarkets. They are great to have in your pantry and can be added to curries, casseroles, soups, used as a condiment and are especially tasty in Moroccan cooking.
How it played out
Our friends, the Horns, invited us to spend a night at their historic Richlands homestead near Taralga. They live in Canberra, but try to spend weekends there when time permits.
Rosanna works full-time, so I figured I’d take a quiche and this salad for dinner. It was a stroke of genius because as it turns out Stephen is now sensitive to gluten.
I made the recipe as written, using chicken stock and lentils. After I took the pic of the preserved lemon, I decided to chop them more finely so the flavour was distributed throughout the salad. Oh, and I used the juice of 2 medium lemons.
Delicious and oh-so colourful. We all really enjoyed this salad and had it for both dinner and lunch the next day. Here’s a pic of the kitchen at Richlands. Soon I’ll add an entry about it on my travel blog.