Thursday, August 25, 2011

Universal Grain Summer Salad: Today with Quinoa Pistacho and Herb with Feta and Olive Oil

When I was visiting my family my sister kept saying Queen-Oh-Ahh. I had no idea what she was talking about until she said, "you know...that grain you use a lot on your blog." I had to smile. If you've never cooked with it or seen it this may be a new adventure for you. Let me start by saying that it's pronounced "Keeeen-Whaaah". Grain surgery continues today and I want to share this wonderful summer salad that I made for my cooking class this week. It's remarkably easy and I think perhaps my favorite summer salad. You can certainly use other cooked grains like wheat (Kamut, Spelt or regular red or white) barley, millet, or wild rice even. It's versatile for using with a mixed grain pilaf as the base. Mix up the herbs to reflect your mood  using my herb and spice alchemy.  There's also ideas on what flavors work together best in my post on Homemade Salad Dressings. So I hope to give you some more ammo here. As for today and the grain we're using for this Salad...Quinoa.
 Quinoa  has been cultivated in the Andes for more than 5000 years! Locally referred to as the "mother grain", it kept the Incan armies strong and robust. It's a protein powerhouse and considered one of the best sources of complete protein and amino acids by the United Nations. It's gluten free. Plus... look at it.  I fell in love the first grain that I ate. It is slightly nutty flavored and mild with amazing texture. If you've never cooked it, there's a full tutorial in the subject on my blog :here . There are a couple of tricks to cooking it and having it come out perfectly, but honestly it's one of the easiest grains to cook and I'm totally in love with it.

You will need to cook 1 1/2 cups quinoa. This will give you about 5 cups cooked and fluffed grain. 

Chef Tess' Quinoa Pistachio and herb salad with Feta and olive oil
Ingredients: 5 cups cooked quinoa
1T each chopped FRESH Parsley, Thyme and Rosemary
1 Clove fresh pressed garlic
1/3 cup Crushed Meyer Lemon Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil or an olive oil of your choice
2T Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar or balsamic vinegar of your choice
1/2 cup coursly chopped pistachio
1/2 cup feta cheese
Zest of one lemon
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste and 1 tsp of my Chef Tess
Romantic Italian Seasoning
 Pour olive oil and balsamic into the cooked grain.
Add the chopped fresh herbs.

 Chop the pistachio.
 Press the garlic.
 Mix it all up. Add salt Romantic Italian Seasoning and pepper to taste.
 Top with Feta.
 There it is. Low in fat. High in flavor. Excellent for the summer. It's a meal if you want something light an luscious.
Keep using your giant GRAIN! xo. Big hugs my friends. 
--Chef Tess

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was telling my friend about this today and she had me send her a I did! Looks fantastic!