Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Colorful Quinoa Salad with Crayfish and Avocado
This is my favourite salad at the moment - I served it twice during our daughter's birthday weekend, where it was very quickly eaten by everyone. Even my dad, a typical Estonian male (read: pork and potatoes kind of guy) had two large helpings of this salad. I've been asked to make it for a friend's birthday party this coming weekend. Thinking of that, I might just bring it to my mum's birthday table in a fortnight as well - it's really delicious and light and unusual. You see, quinoa isn't widely known - or consumed - here in Estonia, and turns out it's actually really suited for our Nordic taste buds :)
Note here that the original plan was to make a cous-cous salad with shrimps and avocado, served with some creamy dressing. But the crayfish tails looked more appealing in the shop, and I had run out of cous-cous at home, so I ended up serving this delightful combination of ingredients instead.
As avocados lose their appetizing green colour with time, it's best to make this salad right before serving. This should not be a problem, as it's supereasy to make and takes almost no time whatsoever (apart from some slicing and cooking the quinoa). The quinoa can be actually still slightly warm when mixed with other ingredients.
What's your favourite way with quinoa? I've already bought another packet, you see, and would appreciate any serving suggestions!
Colourful Quinoa Salad with Crayfish and Avocado
(Kinoasalat vähisabade ja avokaadoga)
250 ml quinoa (a cup)
500 ml vegetable stock (2 cups)
0.5 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed avocado oil
1 lemon, juiced
500 g crayfish tails, drained (I used hand-peeled tails in brine)
3 to 4 ripe avocados
3 to 4 roasted red peppers (from the deli counter)
a large handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper
Rinse the quinoa under cold running water, using a fine mesh sieve (this is an important step, as otherwise the quinoa can be bitter). Drain.
Place the quinoa and stock (or water and Marigold bouillon powder) in a saucepan. Season with salt, then bring to the boil and simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until quinoa is soft and the water has evaporated.
Stir in the oil and half of the lemon juice. Place the quinoa into a large serving bowl.
Add the drained crayfish tails:
Halve the avocados, remove the seeds and scoop out the flesh. Cut the avocados into chunks or slices and sprinkle immediately with the rest of the lemon juice. Add to the serving bowl.
Slice the roasted red peppers, add to the serving bowl.
Add the parsley, season with pepper and salt, if necessary. Stir gently until combined. Serve.
Fold gently so all ingredients are mixed. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve.