The other day as often is the case, Leah wanted me to buy a bunch of radishes. She will eat them as-is, but she is the only one of the girls that will, so I often end up throwing away radishes.
I went looking for a salad that would make the radishes appealing to the whole family. I found a Tomato-Mint Quinoa Salad recipe on allrecipes.com and made a few variations on that.
The first few times I tried making quinoa I made the mistake of not washing it well in warm water. This meant that it still contained some of the bitter-tasting saponins. While most quinoa sold commercially in North America has been processed to remove this coating, I think that some of it must still remain based on my previous bad quinoa experiences.
To clean the quinoa, rinse it in ample running water for several minutes in a fine strainer. Removal of the saponin not only helps the taste, but also with quinoa’s digestion. If can’t find or don’t want to use quinoa, then I am guessing you could substitute cooked rice, couscous, or orzo pasta in this recipe.
I will probably reduce the amount of quinoa next time I make this so that it doesn’t dominate the veggies. Do use the sesame oil as that flavor really makes the salad.
Radish and Quinoa Salad
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/4 cups quinoa (mine was the tri-color kind)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 pinch salt
- 20 grape tomatoes, cut in halves
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 10 radishes, quartered
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbsp chopped dried mint
- 2 Tbsp chopped dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Pour in quinoa, raisins, and a pinch of salt. Cover, and let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, then remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.
- You will know the quinoa is cooked because it will have sprouted little white tails. This little tail is the germ and when the quinoa is ready the cooked germ separates from the seed and looks like a tiny curl.
- Toss together the tomatoes, onion, radish, cucumber, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled quinoa, then season with mint, parsley, cumin, lime juice, orange juice, sesame oil, and salt/pepper.
- Chill 1 to 2 hours before serving.