Friday, April 29, 2011

SPICY QUINOA WITH TANGERINES, PISTACHIOS, AND HERB PUREE


Here in Bali, we've been buying these tangerines for months now and I still am awed every time I cut one open - the contrast of the ultra-dark green skin and the bright ripe orange interior is a thing of beauty. I wanted to celebrate these stunners with a recipe for you, and I came up with this new dish that I am crazy about.

I knew I wanted to make something with quinoa, tangerines, and pistachios. After adding a little of this and a little more of that, we have a recipe that is sweet, savory, spicy, salty, and wholesome all in one bowl.

In order to get the kids to eat this dish, I served all the elements separately. Lilah, favoring pistachios and tangerine slices, ate everything but the spicy dressing. Otis helped make the puree and loved everything but the feta. P and I doused our quinoa in the verdant puree and liberally sprinkled every goody over the top. We all went back for seconds - success!

This quinoa could easily be a vegetarian main course and I think it would make a delicious accompaniment for simple grilled chicken, or a whole roasted fish.


INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (brown rice can also be used in this recipe)
  • 1/3 cup fresh tangerine juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice (approximately 3 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 (loosely packed) cup fresh cilantro leaves + extra for garnish
  • 1/2 (loosely packed) cup fresh mint leaves + extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 2 large, or 4 small tangerines
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
 

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 grain is tender and cooked. Rinse with cold water. Let cool to room temp.

Place tangerine juice, olive oil, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, chopped jalapeno, 1 cup cilantro leaves, and 1/2 cup mint leaves into a blender. Blend until you have a nice vibrant green puree.

Prepare tangerines: Peel 2 large (or 4 small) tangerines. I kept the peels on for the photographs because I just love the look (and my one and only knife here is duller than you can imagine!), but I wouldn't recommend eating that much peel in the salad. Check out this post, for a really easy way to slice citrus for salad.  Or, if you happen to have tangerines with tender membranes, you can just peel them and use the sections unsliced. Set aside tangerine slices/sections.

If you have picky little eaters, serve all ingredients separately. Otherwise, toss room temperature quinoa and dressing together. Scoop a mound of dressed quinoa onto each plate. Scatter tangerine, pistachios, feta, and the remaining fresh herbs over the top.

Enjoy!

makes 4- 6 servings as a side dish, or 2-3 large mains


18 comments:

  1. That looks so delicious! And i agree, the tangerines are gorgeous :)

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  2. This looks divine and I wish I could gobble this up. I'm going to try my own version using pistachios, mango's or things I CAN have. I am allergic to citrus (recently) and milk products too. NUTS! This making my taste buds stand up! Thanks!

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  3. Wow that sounds delicious! And those fruit photographs are just beautiful

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  4. Dee, Thanks:)

    Oli, I am so sorry that I have all this citrus you cannot eat. Not having the feta wouldn't effect the salad much - no worries there. Maybe try grinding up the herbs, mango (good idea!), a bit of oil and some nice vinegar I think it would still be delish! Let me know how it goes:)

    Stephanie - Always good to hear from you!

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  5. I cannot WAIT to try this! My mouth is watering for it right now.

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  6. Thanks Alice! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did:)

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  7. I'm really sold on quinoa salads! This one looks very special with the tangerines and pistachios! Very unusual.

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  8. I did a double-take because I swear that those must be limes, not tangerines. They are so striking looking. Are they sweeter tasting than other types of tangerines?

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  9. Barbara, I love quinoa too - it is so delicate, yet hearty at the same time - and surprisingly versatile.

    Carolyn, They really do look like limes, don't they? But the insides couldn't be more vibrant orange! They are some of the sweetest and juiciest tangerines I've tasted.

    -Erin

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  10. Amazing! I would have never thought to combine those flavors (tangerine, feta and pistachio), but it looks stunning. Love the addition of the jalapeno. -- Allison

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  11. I've come here repeatedly to look at those tangerines, amazing color. I look forward to seeing what other amazing produce you have available to you. The salad looks amazing and I wish it to be in front of me!

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  12. Allison, thanks so much:)

    Bakingbarb, I know! I am totally mesmerized by those tangerines. I will miss them when we get back to the States. But then again, there are so many great citrus varieties around the world, right?

    Cheers,
    Erin

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  13. This sounds amazing! I eat quinoa like 5 times a week so i'll definitely be trying this recipe in the next few days :)

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  14. Stunning photos!
    This looks delicious. I never would have thought to combine those flavours.

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  15. Saffronzen, I am such a quinoa fan too. I wish I ate it 5 times a week like you:)

    Angela,Thanks for the sweet comment... Much appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Erin

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  16. AnonymousMay 05, 2011

    what a great flavor and texture combo! i bookmarked it with my cookmarked.com account!

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  17. Hi E,
    I'm so behind on my blog reading but was elated to see the tweet from Tasteologie (featuring your recipe) come across my Twitter stream this morning! Way to go!

    In all honesty, they know a good thing when they see it. This salad is the perfect. And those tangerines are such a tease! I'm melting over here! Do they taste the same as orange-skinned tangerines?

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  18. Thanks Anonymous.

    Lori, Always good to hear from you:) Aren't those tangerines crazy beautiful? They do taste like many of our California varietals, but wow the drama of that dark green skin is something else!

    -E

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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