Peachy Curried Quinoa Salad
This salad is terrific for summer meals on the patio with a refreshing wine such as Gewürztraminer. I’ve adapted the recipe from the Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook to incorporate more ingredients from my farmer’s market and local producers. Serves 4
For the quinoa:
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed (you must rinse the quinoa otherwise it tastes bitter)
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chutney
- 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
For the salad:
- 2 ripe peaches, chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 salad onion, chopped
To prepare the quinoa, bring water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add quinoa and reduce heat to medium low. Cover pan. Cook until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is soft, approximately 15 minutes. After the quinoa is cooked, let it cool.
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing and whisk together. Season with salt if desired.
To finish the salad, put the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Add half of the dressing, and the chopped peaches, cucumber, and onion. Toss to combine. If the salad isn’t wet enough for you, add more dressing.
Ingredients: While recently sourcing ingredients for a 100-mile dinner, I discovered that the hazelnut oil from Holmquist Farms falls within my range. I’ve used it in my most recent preparation along with a balsamic Honey Vinegar from Honey Ridge Farms. I paid $15 for the vinegar at Eat Local, then saw it on the shelves at Whole Foods for $8. Sigh. While the vinegar is outside of the 100 mile range for me (hello wineries how about producing a nice wine vinegar?), it is still Washington based and I am quite enamored with it’s slight viscosity and sweetness.
Party planning: To reduce preparation time, you may prepare the quinoa and the dressing up to 2 days in advance. Then combine components the day before or morning of the party. If you prefer to individually plate the salad rather than serve family style, consider scooping the salad onto avocado halves and drizzling with remaining dressing for a festive presentation.
Last night we tried this wine with the Walter Dacon 2008 Roussanne. We liked it, although I think the salad would pair better with a little heat such as some jalapeno peppers added.
Update August 2, 2010: The second night I added a couple of pinches of chipotle flakes to the salad, which did help it pair better slightly better with the Roussanne. However, we also opened a bottle of Northwest Totem Cellars 2008 Salish. This refreshing white wine is a blend of 60% Riesling and 40% Viognier. It’s a little sweet on the palate, so it stands up really well to the sweetness of the salad. So, while the Roussanne is a lovely wine, we find that the Salish is a better match for this Curried Quinoa Salad. We purchased our bottle of Salish at Kirkland Uncorked for just $10.