intensely trivial

Tomatillo-quinoa salad for supper

Well, the crud that everyone in my family has had in turn over the last few weeks finally got me, too — just when I was itching to get busy in the kitchen again! Here I am with Jonathan, who was snuggling sweetly with me last night after his bath:
Today my throat is killing me, and I can’t talk, but my body’s working OK. So I’ve been leisurely putting together a salad for our supper. I must admit, it’s been fun, even though I’ve been working at the slowest pace imaginable for me. And now it’s resting in our fridge, and I’m all ready for supper. (By the way, I apologize for the funky layout here. Hope it doesn’t mess anybody up too badly.)
Drumroll, please. . .

Tomatillo-quinoa salad

Tomatillo-quinoa salad

Buried under all those tasties on top (which the recipe calls “garnishes” — ha!) is a mound of cooked quinoa, dressed with a tomatillo-lime-cilantro dressing. The salad isn’t cheap or lazy, but it is so good for you, and delicious! You’ll get a better value if you plan for ways to use up the remaining cilantro and parsley. And it’s huge, so it’ll last us for several meals. The last time I made this, we heated up leftovers and ended up with something like a vegetarian burrito bowl from Chipotle.
Here’s the recipe, adapted from Food & Wine‘s annual recipe book from 2003:

Tomatillo-Quinoa Salad
6 servings, at least

2 c. quinoa, rinsed several times
3 c. water

8 tomatillos, husked, and blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
7 T. fresh lime juice (about 2 limes — zest them before squeezing)
1/3 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. champagne vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 large cucumber, thinly sliced
8 radishes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 c. cooked corn (I skimped on this, because I ran out today)
4 oz. cotija cheese, crumbled (find this with other Mexican cheeses at the grocery store — even at Aldi)
1 T. finely grated lime zest

1. Quinoa: Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa, cover, and simmer on low until the water is absorbed, 15 min. Dump into a large bowl and let cool.
2. Dressing: Put the tomatillos, yellow onion, cilantro, lime juice, parsley, oil, vinegar, chile, and garlic into a blender or food processor. Puree. Stir into the cooled quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Don’t be timid. Salt will help take the bitter edge off the tomatillos and make the whole thing taste good.)
3. Garnishes: Put the cucumber, radishes, bell pepper, red onion, corn, cotija, and lime zest over the top. Serve.


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  1. * clbeyer says:

    Oh, Rachel, that looks goooood. My black bean soup is paling in comparison.

    Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  2. * Terri says:

    That is a very impressive salad…and I’m especially fond of that bowl! 😉 I hope you enjoyed your dinner.

    Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  3. * manhattandoula says:

    Terri, I thought you’d like that bowl! 🙂 It’s perfect for a big salad.

    Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  4. * clbeyer says:

    I made this beauty last night! I thought it was good, but next time I think I’d cut the raw onion amount in half. It was the perfect dish for lovers of raw food.

    But I said to Kyle, “Do you want to take leftovers to work tomorrow?” and he said he was going to try to be social with the guys at work. “Is that an excuse not to take it?” I asked. “Maybe,” he said. 🙂 Oh, well, you can’t please them all.

    Kyle always eats my concoctions, but I don’t know how much he appreciates them. Isaiah and I enjoyed my basmati rice challenge creation for lunch today — report coming to you soon! But Kyle has to eat it for leftovers to night!

    Posted 9 years, 5 months ago

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