The stray quinoa grains bouncing like tiny white bouncing balls across the granite counter. The sand like feeling of them in the strainer. The way they move under the faucet stream makes them seem excited to participate in the dish they are going to be a part of. The earthy bodies of the black beans. The brilliant summer heat that makes its way into the flavor of the vine ripened tomatoes. The sharp snapping sound of the knife against the vivid flesh of the bell peppers. The way red wine vinegar bites at your sinuses in a way that makes you curious to breathe deeply so you can feel the bite again. The slippery comfort of the olive oil and the way it slides itself into every recess it can find as if it is reassuring all the other ingredients involved.
I love cooking. I love everything about it. For me, each dish is like an edible piece of art. But an art piece that has the power to amalgamate living beings. There is an emptiness to enjoyment when it is not shared. So, to end this blog in alignment with my desire to have you share in this enjoyment of mine, I am going to give you a recipe of mine…
Teal’s Quinoa Summer Salad
2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups corn kernels
1 large green pepper (diced small)
1 large red pepper (diced small)
3 cups black beans (cooked)
2 cups kidney beans (cooked)
2 cups black olives (sliced)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (quartered)
4 green onions (chopped)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Rinse the quinoa well. Combine it with the vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down so that it is simmering and cook it uncovered for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Then turn the heat off and cover it with a lid and let it stand for five minutes. Fluff it with a fork and put it in a very large bowl.
Toss it with the corn, green pepper, red pepper, black beans, kidney beans, olives, cherry tomatoes and green onions.
In a food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic cloves and about 1 tsp. of salt. Blend until frothy and creamy. Pour it over the quinoa/vegetable mix and toss well until the salad is well coated. Add salt if needed to taste and serve. This recipe makes enough for a large party or for abundant leftovers.