I am always looking for new ways to enjoy quinoa and I suspect this recipe will become a staple for us when favas are in season. If you don’t have access to favas, I think steamed, chopped asparagus or even spinach, would be a delicious substitute in this dish. Plus here's another use for those preserved lemons you might have made with me a while back.
Eating favas in the middle of California winter, I feel like a traitor to my friends at home. Here in New Zealand it is early Summer and favas ( aka “broad beans” ) are ready for harvest and impossible for me to resist. I stumbled on this recipe in Australia’s Gourmet Traveller (my new favorite food mag) and loved the mix of flavors. I ended up making a lot of changes to the original recipe until I was satisfied with the balance of fresh, creamy, lemony, flavors I craved. I served the salad to P and my mom - when they oohed and aahed, I figured I needed to share the recipe with you.
This salad can be a one-bowl-meal in itself or works as a substantial side dish for grilled fish or chicken.
adapted from Matt Stone’s recipe in Gourmet Traveller September 2010
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa
- 2 pounds favas/broad beans, in their pods
- 1/4-1/2 of a preserved lemon, flesh discarded, rinsed thoroughly, and chopped fine
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- add 1/4 cup soft creamy fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly torn
- 1/4 cup parsley, roughly torn
- note: if preserved lemon is well integrated into the salad, then no need for more salt.
Prepare preserved lemon (be sure to adequately rinse the preserved lemon, otherwise the preserving salt will overpower the dish). Start by using 1/4 lemon at this point. You can always add more lemon to season the dish later. Mix with olive oil to blend the flavors. Set aside.
Fill a medium sauce pan with water. Set water to a boil on the stove top. ( This pot is for cooking the favas.)
Rinse quinoa several times. Then combine quinoa with 3 cups of water in a large sauce pan. Bring water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Rinse with cold water. Let quinoa cool to room temp.
While quinoa is cooking, prepare favas. Remove beans from their pods. Parboil beans for 2 -3 minutes. Refresh in cold water. When favas are cool enough to handle, remove vibrant green beans from their skins. The prep for favas is a bit tedious, but well worth it.
Toss room temperature quinoa with olive oil, preserved lemon, and lemon juice. Add favas, parsley, and mix. Make sure everything is well integrated. Taste to make sure seasoning is balanced. Feel free to add a bit more lemon juice, olive oil, or preserved lemon if it suits you. Gently fold in bits of goat cheese.
serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish