On Saturdays during the summer, we've been featuring a series of picnic recipes to cook and taste at the Main Shop. Last week I cooked this fabulous, fresh Southwest-inspired Quinoa Corn Salad from The Urban Picnic by John Burns and Elisabeth Caton (The recipe is also found in Rebar Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz) . Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is high in protein, calcium and iron and is a great grain to include in salads as it has a mild flavour and retains a soft texture when chilled. What a great way to also feature locally grown corn.
Quinoa Corn Salad
1 cup (240 mL) quinoa
1 1/2 cups (360 mL) water
1/2 tsp. (2.5 mL) salt
2 1/2 cups (600 mL) corn, fresh or frozen
1 small red onion, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) lemon juice
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) lime juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro
3 scallions, minced
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) finely minced chives
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
1/2 tsp. (2.5 mL) Tabasco sauce, or to taste
Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold, running water. Bring water to boil in a small pot, add the quinoa and salt and bring to a boil again. Cover and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for an additional 5 minutes. Strain off any excess liquid and spread the quinoa out to cool on a tray while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Steam or lightly saute corn until just tender and cool to room temperature [I steamed the whole cobs of corn, cooled them and cut them off the cob]. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss. Season with additional salt, pepper or hot sauce to taste. Serve with fresh lime wedges.