Having Scrabble for Dinner (a Q & Z Dish)

quinoa-and-zucchini-saladNow that summer is in full swing and we have zucchini and greens and herbs growing everywhere they can (found random cilantro in my garden yesterday!), it makes sense to combine these in-season favorites to create an easy summer meal.  Adding pecans and raisins to this dish gives you nutty-sweet kick + crunch, and using quinoa rather than a longer-cooking grain like brown rice means less time at the stove on a hot day.

If you’re in a raw mood, you could skip sautéeing the greens and zucchini – just dice the zucchini into bite-size pieces before tossing everything together in a bowl.  Note: if you do skip the sautéeing part, though, you might need to toss the final salad with a little extra oil and a dash of red wine vinegar to make up for the lost flavor the sautéeing would have given the dish.

Quinoa & Zucchini Salad with Golden Raisins
Serves 4, especially if you include the garnishes.

1 cup raw quinoa
2 zucchinis, sliced into thin rounds
Handful of pecans, chopped
Handful of golden raisins OR standard raisins
About 1 T. fresh dill, chopped
15-oz. can Great Northern white beans, preferably Eden (they use BPA-free cans), drained
Several handfuls baby spinach
Several handfuls arugula

Get 2 cups of water boiling in a medium pot. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. The hulls of each grain will start to uncurl and form a curlicue at the ten-minute mark – that means they’re ready. (Quinoa is hands-down the cutest grain!)

Drizzle a splash of extra-virgin olive oil in a large sautée pan and add zucchini, spreading them out to encourage them to cook evenly. Cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until they’re turning translucent and golden-brown. Add the pecans, raisins, dill, and beans and continue to cook for 1 minute. Scoop the zucchini mixture into a large salad bowl and return the still-hot pan to the heat.

Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach and arugula, adding them a handful at a time and letting them cook down if you’re running out of room in the pan. Stir constantly for about 1 minute or until the greens are just starting to wilt. (You may need to drizzle in a little bit more oil if the greens seem to be sticking to the pan.) Toss the wilted greens and the cooked quinoa with the zucchini mixture and serve immediately. If you’d like to add a garnish or two, hard-boiled eggs and/or a savory, salty cheese like Parmesan or Feta would be tasty options.

Enjoy!

Courtesy of Cultured Cook.

You may also like:

Summer Squash Recipes

Spring Green = Delicious Soup

Fresh Produce For HAVEN

© Copyright 2011  Allison Stuart Kaplan  www.Askinyourface.com LLC

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