black bean + heirloom tomato quinoa salad

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Well folks, this is what we've been waiting for. The last few days of summer. Hot, dry, full of last minute parties, deep fried fair food, farmer's markets full of fresh, local produce, last minute road trips, everyone is trying to squeeze ever last drop out of summer before winter arrives. 

But I have to say, I'm kind of ready for fall. 

Summer is awesome and all, but I bought a new raincoat and I'm DYING to wear it. Quote me on this later, in January, when I am cursing the rain. 
One thing I am enjoying while waiting for fall are fresh, heirloom tomatoes that I came across the other day the farmer's market. 

If you've never had one, seriously get on it. They are much brighter, flavourful, sweeter, and make anything you add them to even more fantastic. They're even good sliced, sprinkled with a bit of salt. 

Even better in this salad. I freaking love quinoa. It's a superfood. When I ran across this recipe at The Kitchn earlier last week, it caught my eye. Quinoa + black beans + tomatoes + lemon dressing? Count me in for a bowlful of that. Healthy, packed full of protein, and almost vegan. 

Even more important than it's healthy, super easy to make, great to make ahead of time for lunches, can substitute almost anything into it, great for picnics since no refrigeration is needed, great for parties....
is that the husband loves it. It has all of those healthy ingredients and he STILL loves it. He ate 3 bowlfuls the day I made it. I had to tell him to stop eating it since I wanted it for lunch the next day. 

The husband loves quinoa salad and my life is now complete. Except, I still haven't worn my new rain coat.

Black bean + heirloom tomato quinoa salad
[ adapted from thekitchn ]

If you've never cooked quinoa before, don't be frightened, it cooks exactly like rice. Bring 2 cups of water with a sprinkle of salt to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa and cook until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. OR do it the lazy way, in your rice cooker. Which is exactly what I did. Whichever was you cook the quinoa, make sure to rinse and drain it a few times in a fine, mesh strainer.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained a few times and cooked thoroughly (see above)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 540ml can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint small-medium sized heirloom tomatoes, halved
4 green onions, chopped

Place cooked quinoa into a large bowl, set aside. 

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, melted butter, olive oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Add black beans, tomatoes and green onions to cooked quinoa. Drizzle with dressing, toss thoroughly to coat.

Serve room temperature or warm.