Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monday, August 16th - Uber-Herb Quinoa and Avocado-Cuke Salad with Smoked Salmon

Uber Herbed Green Quinoa and Avocado-Cuke Salad with Smoked Salmon
 We had a hot weekend and while we were away, our balcony herb garden had a growth spurt.  As well, unseaonally hot weather continued to today so the idea of turning on the stove for very long was unbearable.  I opted for a Salad Main but a hearty one and not one that could be accused of being bird food.  I was going to buy some fish on the way home to quickly sear to place on top but the idea of the heat just turned me off.  So instead we used a Smoked Salmon that we had bought some time ago at TnT.  It is not the raw lox form of Smoked Salmon.  It is a cooked Smoke varity and they come in foil pouches for better preservation and flavour.  You could used tinned Salmon. I would not use Tuna because I do not like the metallic taste that happens when tinned Tuna and Cucumber come together.

Oh and what is that random Cherry Tomato on the plate?  We're growing an Heirloom Cherry Tomato plant on our balcony.  Unfortunately, we started it before our 3 week holiday so after budding three Tomatoes, it went dormant during the hot spell during our vacation.  So at least it did not die.  But now it is growing out of control.  It is bigger than a regular Tomato plant which we had not anticipated.  It is starting to bud new Tomatoes so we're pretty excited.  It never get's hot enough in town to be as fruitful as say Toronto where mom stopped growing Cherry Tomatoes because she could not keep up with production, giving pints away weekly.  We may get a pint by summer's end.

Uber-Herb Quinoa and Cuke-Avo Salad
(Serves 3 as a Main)

3/4 c Quinoa
1 1/2 c Vegetable Broth or Water
1/8 t Salt (pinch)
1/2 T Olive Oil
1 1/2 Limes, juiced
1/4 c fresh Parsley Chopped
1/2 c fresh Chives Chopped
1/2 c fresh Arugula
1/4 c fresh Basil (Purple, chopped and Green)
1/2 English Cucumber, peeled and diced (1cm)
1 Avocado, diced (1cm-1/2inch)
Pepper to taste
Two Cherry tomatoes (optional - first from our plant! :^D)
1/2 c Green Beans, blanched (optional, I forgot to buy them but I meant to add some more green!)

In a small sauce pan, bring the Quinoa and the Water to a boil then reduce to a bare simmer covered for 15-20 minutes.  Turn the heat off and leave covered and let sit there for another 10-15.  Take off the element and fluff with a fork.  Let cool with the cover off. 

In a large mixing bowl or serving bowl, add the 1-2 T Olive Oil.  Add the Quinoa and mix thoroughly.  Add the Lime Juice and Salt and toss.

Chop all the herbs but the Green Basil and Arugula.  Set aside 1T of the Chives and a few sprigs of Parsley for the top.

Add all the herbs but the Green Basil and Arugula.  Toss.  Add the Cucumber.  Toss.  Add the Avocado cubes (see below).  Toss gently so you do not mush your Avocado.  For this purpose, the Avocado should be ripe but not mushy.  If you hold it whole in your palm and flex your grip you will feel a bit of a give and no sinking of fingers.

Season to taste.  Top with a piece of smoked Salmon or leave it out for a veggie option and garnish.  THIS WAS SOOOO GOOD and perfect for the heat.

We drank a Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2008 with it.  One of my favourite White Wines right now. 


It is super easy to slice an avocado and I have covered it in previous posts and this video is a good demonstration as well..


0 Leave a / Read COMMENTs: