Welcome the warmer weather with a quinoa salad filled with vegetables and shrimp and topped with a citrus-and-olive-oil dressing. Quinoa, an ancient grain from the Andean Mountains, has become very popular in recent years. It’s a good source of protein and it is gluten-free.
Cooking the onions until their natural juices caramelize, a process that takes about 10 minutes, gives the salad a hint of natural sweetness. Let the onions cook while you prepare the rest of the components.
Chilean quinoa salad
2 cups water (divided)
1 cup sliced white onion
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup sliced carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup defrosted frozen corn kernels
2 cups cubed tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 pound peeled, cooked shrimp
4 cups romaine lettuce, rinsed
Pour 1/2 cup water into a medium-size nonstick skillet. Add onions and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add more water if onions become too dry. They should be golden, not browned.
Meanwhile, rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer over the sink. Add to a small pot with the remaining 1 1/2-cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium, cover with a lid and cook 10 minutes. All of the water should be absorbed. If the pot runs dry before the quinoa is cooked, add more water.
When onions are ready, add carrots, garlic and green beans. Saute 3 to 4 minutes. The vegetables will be crunchy. Remove from heat. Add cooked quinoa, corn, tomatoes and cilantro to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Mix orange juice, olive oil and cayenne pepper together. Add the shrimp to the mixture. To serve, line a serving platter or 2 individual plates with the lettuce leaves and spoon the quinoa salad on top. Spoon the shrimp and dressing over the quinoa.
Makes 2 servings.
Wine suggestion: For this trendy Chilean dish, try a Chilean Torrontés.
Per serving: 558 calories (19 percent from fat), 11.8 g fat (1.7 g saturated, 6 monounsaturated), 276 mg cholesterol, 47.9 g protein, 72.2 g carbohydrates, 13.1 g fiber, 275 mg sodium.