After a five-month haitus* from my Gourmet, unbound contributions, I'm back! Before I started scouring the Gourmet archives on Epicurious, I took some time to think about getting a little something more out of the this project. I wanted to challenge myself, so I gave myself a set of rules:
- To use at least one ingredient I've never cooked with before
- To choose a recipe that was packed with protein
- To use at least one seasonal ingredient
When I had lunch with my friend Lorianne at Josie's East back in February, I ordered the Organic Three Grain Vegetable Cheeseburger, which was made with quinoa, bulgar, and couscous. That was the first time I had ever eaten quinoa, and I really enjoyed its delicately nutty flavor. I made a mental note to try and incorporate some dishes that featured quinoa into my culinary repertoire and was thrilled when I found this recipe in the August 2006 issue of Gourmet.
Most people think that quinoa is a grain; however, it's actually a seed. It's rich in protein, iron, and potassium and a good source of dietary fiber. And, quinoa contains no gluten, so it's the perfect food for those who follow a wheat-free/gluten-free diet!
What really made this dish special, though, was the fresh, sweet corn. After cooking the corn and putting it on my cutting board to cool before attempting to remove the kernels, I found it extremely difficult to ignore the temptation to slather on some butter and just eat the corn by itself! Thankfully, I got a hold of myself and pushed through to finish the recipe with all of the ingredients.
Light and fluffy in texture, yet filling and substantial enough to constitute the perfect summer meal, this dish is a new favorite of mine. Definitely give it a try!
Quinoa with Corn, Scallions, and Mint
Serves 4 - Printable Recipe
- 1 cup pre-washed quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 ears fresh corn, shucked
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- Place quinoa in a medium pan. Pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to a full boil and boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the corn in a 5- to 6-quart wide pot, then add water to cover. Bring to a boil and cover. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the corn, with tongs, to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cobs with a large heavy knife. Put the kernels in a bowl and set side.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper until combined. Add the quinoa to the dressing and toss until the dressing is absorbed. Gently fold in the corn, scallions, mint, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.**
Recipe by Michelle Rittler, Taste As You Go | Adapted from Gourmet, August 2006
* Life got in the way. That's my only excuse.
** It's even tastier the next day, so don't be afraid to eat this dish cold, straight out of the refrigerator!
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