Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Colorful Quinoa Salad with Crayfish and Avocado

Quinoa salad with crayfish tails, avocado & roasted tomatoes / & lobster tail salad / Kinoa-vähisabasalat

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)
Serves ten

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:
Quinoa salad with crayfish tails, avocado & roasted tomatoes / & lobster tail salad / Kinoa-vähisabasalat

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.

Quinoa salad with crayfish tails, avocado & roasted tomatoes / & lobster tail salad / Kinoa-vähisabasalat

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.


ChichaJo said...

This is such a refreshing salad! I like quinoa with balsamic roasted vegetables and a side of garlicky yogurt. I also like it prepared in a breakfast cereal way with milk, dried fruit, and nuts :)

Dima said...

This sounds so good, I love crayfish, but here in Portland OR I'm having hard time finding them. The pictures are great as always.

Liis said...

See oli väga hea, aga kas kinoad peale looduspoodide veel müüakse kusagil? Olen seni näinud ca 72 krooni pakk, mis tundub veits krõbe?

Jeanne @ Cooksister! said...

Oh Pille!! You have me drooling and it's still a long way to go till dinner! I always see these colourful crayfish tails in Lidl but can never think what to do with them other than a Marie Rose sauce - this is inspirational! Boomarked.

Unknown said...

Colorful and refreshing!!!
Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne said...

gosh, this salad looks so good! yum!

Unknown said...

I love quinoa as a squash filling: bake squash, fill with quinoa mixed with miso paste, herbs, cranberries, walnuts. Oh yes, add butter :) Perfect for a snowy day.

dining room table said...

This salad looks great! I like it! Thanks for sharing. I can use this for tomorrow's house party.

Kris said...

Quinoa is great in cold salads. Had something like a pilaf that I made that wasn't a very popular item so I dressed it with lemon juice studded with some bits of veggies and olives. Will try this, maybe with lime juice.

Puhvis Kukk said...

101 cookbooks blog has several quinoa recipes but I am trying this today http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/2010/02/quinoa-pudding-and-walk-on-beach.html

Its cold and Im feeling kind of sickly so hot milk based pudding sounds so right.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've bookmarked this recipe; it looks wonderful and would be great at any time of year. I'll probably make it with shrimp or crab meat, both of which are easier to find here in New England.

natural selection said...

This is power food by the way!

Valentina said...

I love crayfish, and combining it with quinoa is such a great idea. By the way, I am very late but i had not been following the blogsphere for a while and I missed your pregnancy. contratulations!! I remember reading your posts when you still lived in Scotland.

Sonja said...

what a gorgeous salad, and such lovely photos too!
This is the first time I've been on your blog, and I think it's absolutly charming!

Cathy Wang said...

I can't live without quinoa.
I've been really enjoying making it with some rucola & spiced ham... and then make a mint dressing. very refreshing.
I have introduced quinoa to many of my friends here in tallinn and everyone has fallen in love with it :)

Large Wall Mirrors Gal said...

What a grate salad. It's really delicious. We can have a better dinner or lunch with this fabulous dish. Really attractive dish.

Dining Table Gal said...

This is something that i call nutritious as always

Wood Dining Table Gal said...

Colorful garnish. I am absolutely sure kids will get attractive on this. Fish + Vegetable = Nutritious. Fabulous dish for every one