Monday, August 15, 2011

meatless monday - lemon scented quinoa with corn, mint, and scallions

You may not know this, but of the two Muses really only the East Coaster is a veg-head (counter intuitive, we know) - hence, Meatless Mondays were her "brilliant" idea. But this time the West Coast Muse is taking a crack at today's feature. This means you can totally trust this recipe - if the WCM devoured it, that means you, the average-everyday-meat-lover will too. Mint and lemon are a fab combo in fancy-pants lemonade; so why would they not be great in your quinoa? This is a fresh-tasting, light dish but it's also loaded with protein and nutrients thanks to the powerhouse quinoa.

Also, errr... disregard that my photo here has chicken on it. This was made on a Sunday...which was not meatless. But I assure you, this would be great chicken-less!

modified very slightly from Epicurious

lemon scented quinoa with corn, mint, and scallions

4 ears corn, shucked
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon mild honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups quinoa (about 10 oz)
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
8-10 oz feta

Put corn in a 5- to 6-quart wide pot, then add water to cover and bring to a boil, covered. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer corn with tongs to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off cobs with a large heavy knife.

Meanwhile, whisk together lemon zest and juice, melted butter, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined.

Epicurious has the following directions about cooking quinoa but I like to just throw mine in the rice cooker. 1:2 ration of quinoa to water...and salt that water!

or do it the Epicurious way... wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a large sieve each time. Cook quinoa in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve over same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam until quinoa is tender, fluffy, and dry, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand (still covered) 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in corn, scallions, mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Crumble a good helping of feta over the top before serving.

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