THE KITCHN: A bright and cheerful salad to herald the warmer months ahead
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Citrus-Coriander Dressing. (Emily Ho / March 6, 2013)
A quinoa and black bean salad makes an easy, wholesome lunch or a good side for supper. Gluten-free and vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, it's also an ideal dish to share at potlucks and other gatherings.
In addition to fresh orange segments, this quinoa and black bean salad has an orange-coriander dressing made with orange juice, orange zest, fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and toasted coriander seeds. It brightens up the palate and is just the sort of comforting yet cheerful nourishment we crave this time of year.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Citrus-Coriander Dressing
1 cup uncooked quinoa (any color), rinsed and drained
2 cups water
2 large oranges
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.
Prepare oranges while quinoa is cooling. Finely grate the zest of one orange and set aside. Supreme both oranges (see note), reserving the juice (squeeze the orange membranes after segmenting), and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest, 3 tablespoons of orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, coriander seeds, salt, a few cracks of pepper and chopped cilantro. Adjust seasonings if desired.
Place quinoa, black beans, onion and orange segments in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: How to supreme a citrus fruit
Supreming is of dividing a citrus fruit into its segments, removing the skin, pith, membranes and seeds. You can use this method to cut any citrus: oranges, grapefruits, even lemons.
Equipment: a small, sharp paring knife and a cutting board
1. Slice a little off the top and bottom. This gives you a stable cutting surface and will also make it easier to trim away the rest of the peel.
2. Trim away the skin and pith. You can use any knife you feel comfortable with for this step. Start at the top and slice downward following the curve of the fruit. Try to cut away all of the skin and the pith without also taking too much of the fruit. It's advisable to err on the side of caution and then go back afterward to trim up spots that you missed.
3. Cut into one of the segments. Use a paring knife for this step and have a bowl ready to catch the citrus juices. Slip the knife between one of the segments and the connective membrane. Cut until you reach the middle of the orange, but don't cut through any of the membrane. Go slowly and keep your fingers out of the way!
4. Scoop out the segment. Use a scooping motion to turn the knife back on itself, hook under the bottom edge of the citrus segment, and pry it away. The side that is still attached to a membrane will peel away, leaving you with a perfect wedge.
5. Repeat with all the other segments. The first segment is always the hardest to get out; the rest are a lot easier.
(Emily Ho is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to email@example.com.)