Yesterday I celebrated the 4th of July in Shanagarry, Ireland. I woke up to rain, wind and gray skies. And not for the first time, I thought, damn, I'm lucky to call California home.
I have two weeks of cookery school left, and I'm enjoying every moment of it, don't get me wrong. I spend my days strategizing when to feed my sourdough starter, or whether to pair my chicken and saffron dish with a Rioja rose or French viognier for my final exam. Life is good.
But it's July! I need some sunshine! So I created this dish to serve at the fictional barbecue that I would host if I were home. It's a light, fresh quinoa salad with bright fruit flavors and satisfying crunch from sunflower seeds. I would pair it with some spicy grilled chicken, a rustic peach and berry tart, and a sprightly, all-American Sonoma Sauv Blanc.
Sorry, I'm in culinary school and it's final exam time. I just can't help it.
Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Mango and Arugula
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 30 min
1 cup / 225 g quinoa, rinsed and drained
1.5 cups / 350 mL water or vegetable stock (add a pinch of salt unless the stock is salted)
2 Tbs olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp honey
1 garlic clove, minced
Arils from 1 pomegranate
1 mango, cubed
3 oz / 85 g / small handful of sunflower seeds
4 handfuls arugula, larger pieces torn
First, combine rinsed quinoa and liquid in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook quinoa about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. If the quinoa looks too wet, take the lid off and let some liquid evaporate for about 5 minutes. Turn out quinoa into a bowl to let cool.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together oil, lime juice, cumin, honey and garlic. Toss half the dressing through the quinoa while still warm and reserve the rest.
Once the quinoa is somewhat cool, add the pomegranate arils, mango, sunflower seeds and half the arugula. Don't toss the arugula through very hot quinoa - it will wilt really quickly.
Drizzle over the remaining dressing and toss gently. To serve, plate the quinoa salad on a bed of remaining arugula leaves.