RSS Feed

The Mystery of the Disappearing Salad

Posted on

20120302-104858.jpg
I don’t have a picture of the salad in question to show you, because it just keeps disappearing so quickly!

Have you ever just thrown some tasty ingredients together, making it up as you go, and somehow it turns into something so crazy delicious that you and everyone else can’t seem to get their fill? It’s a wonderful feeling when it happens. Instead of just recreating somebody else’s recipe, you have designed a dish of your own. I used to fool around with a Southwestern pasta salad with corn and chorizo and it was always pretty good. But, I’m trying to up my nutrients and dial back on the wheat, so I started playing around with it even further. In the fall, I subbed black quinoa for the pasta, added black beans for more fibre and went crazy with the veggies. My fellas went for seconds and made lots of happy sounds as they ate.

I ended up making an unseemly amount and took some of the overflow to work. I set it out at lunch time and invited everyone to dig in. Many of them hadn’t tried quinoa yet and displayed some reluctance to dive in. But, I persisted and after the first couple tried a bite it disappeared quickly. Almost every single person asked me for the recipe, but I didn’t really have one. It was just thrown together. I’d tell them a bunch of ingredients and then remember something else later and have to update them. Some of my coworkers even made their own versions at home! The highest of compliments.

When my husband, Exec Chef, came home that night he asked if there was any of the salad left and was disappointed when he found out that I’d taken it to work. For a guy who doesn’t do leftovers, this was pretty impressive. As autumn turned to winter and I couldn’t get any flavourful tomatoes or fresh corn, I took the salad in a new direction and switched in roasted root vegetables as a seasonal substitution. So, I present you with not one, but two recipes and there may be more versions to come!

 
Black Beauty Salad: Autumn Version
Dressing Ingredients:

juice of one lime (or maybe 2 if they are on the dry side)

splash of extra virgin olive oil

Tbs of dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup dry black quinoa (or red quinoa or white quinoa)

2 chorizo sausage diced (Freybe makes a nice one)

1 can black beans or 1 cup dried black beans (rehydrated and cooked)

1 ear fresh corn sliced off (or 1 cup frozen)

2 medium tomatoes diced

1/2 bunch cilantro minced

1/2 cup black olives (sliced)

1/2 cucumber diced

1 red onion diced

2 green onions sliced

Method:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa, turn down to low and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes, or just make extra when you have quinoa for breakfast.

Cook the chorizo on medium heat until the edges get dark and crispy.

Drain and rinse the beans. Toss the beans, corn and red onion in withe chorizo once it starts sizzling.

Let the quinoa and the chorizo mixture cool for a bit, so that they don’t cook the other ingredients. Then mix them all together and withe the dressing.

 
Black Beauty Salad: Winter Version

Dressing Ingredients:

juice of one lime (or maybe 2 if they are on the dry side)

splash of extra virgin olive oil

Tbs of Dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

1 medium parsnip diced

2 medium carrots diced

1 bell pepper diced (red, orange and yellow work better than green)

1 cup dry black quinoa (or red quinoa or white quinoa)

2 chorizo sausage diced (Freybe makes a nice one)

1 can black beans or 1 cup dried black beans (rehydrated and cooked)

1/2 bunch cilantro minced

1/2 cup black olives (sliced)

1 red onion diced

2 green onions sliced

Method:

Preheat oven to 400. Toss the parsnip, carrot and bell pepper with extra virgin olive oil and salt & pepper. Spread them out of a baking sheet and roast until golden (about 25-30 minutes)

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa, turn down to low and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes, or just make extra when you have quinoa for breakfast.

Cook the chorizo on medium heat until the edges get dark and crispy.

Drain and rinse the beans. Toss the beans and red onion in withe chorizo once it starts sizzling.

Then mix all the ingredients together and toss with the dressing.

Now, watch it disappear right before your very eyes.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: