AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Craving Summer, Part 2 - Black Bean-Quinoa Salad DATE: 2/09/2009 08:17:00 AM ----- BODY:
Another 6 inches of snow fell in Cambridge this week, and the warmth of Vietnam seems so far away. Since, I know we have another few months of winter, I try to conjure up memories of steamy summer nights… sitting on the back porch eating a light summer meal – a cold salad, maybe, with grilled meat or fish… the scent of honeysuckle wafts through the air; a few beads of sweat trickle down my back. And the warm breezes that bring relief… aaahhh summer…

This is when I begin to break into my stash of tomatoes that I canned last summer. And the basil I froze in ice cube trays

What I didn’t tell you this summer, when I was knee deep in tomatoes and jars, is that I really don’t like canning. It’s a long process. The largest pot I own only holds 8 pint jars... and with this pot on the stove, I only have enough room for a second pot of simmering tomatoes. It takes many, many batches and a solid day or two to process enough tomatoes and peachy mama peppers to get me through the winter. But now that it’s the dark days of winter, I’m so grateful for my stash!! And indeed my appreciation stays with me through the summer canning process.

Simple pasta tossed with a can of tomatoes and a basil “ice cube” offers the quintessential taste of summer. Still simple, but with a more complex ingredient list, I toss quinoa and black beans with the tomatoes and basil and serve it with grilled chicken sausage. Can you feel the warmth?

Black Bean Quinoa Salad
1 cup dried quinoa
1 cup cooked black beans
1 pint jar of summer canned tomatoes
1-2 ice cubes of basil
2 scallions, cut into rings
1/2 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse quinoa under cold running water.

2. Put quinoa in a pot with 3 cups of water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover pot. Cook quinoa for 10 minutes, or until grains pop open and have a little tail. Drain any excess liquid.

3. Toss quinoa with remaining ingredients. Serve with chicken sausage.

I'm submitting this recipe to Andrea's Grow Your Own, a blogging event that celebrates the dishes we create from foods we’ve grown, raised, foraged, or hunted ourselves.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:2/09/2009 09:48:00 PM Yum. I have slow-roasted tomatoes in my freezer from last summer, and I think they'd work pretty well in this salad. And of course I always have quinoa and beans in the pantry, too. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kristen DATE:2/09/2009 09:55:00 PM I am craving summer too. We've had a couple of nice spring like days this past weekend but it is just a mere teaser.
Your salad looks so fresh and summer like! Thank goodness for those canned tomatoes :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger melissa DATE:2/10/2009 01:39:00 AM Exactly - you may hate the process, but it must be so worth it!

I had a dish last summer, one I got from another friend's blog, with quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, herbs... it gave me healthy lunches for days and was just lovely. Glad you have the means to make that right now. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:2/10/2009 08:46:00 PM i have never tried quinoa, but it's all over the blogosphere. i adore black beans, this sounds delicious. and i am definitely craving summer!!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:2/10/2009 08:55:00 PM Lydia, Aren't you glad you have those tomatoes!

Kristen, and it has your favorite -- black beans!

Melissa, this recipe is so easy to make a big batch -- I think I had enough for a week!

Heather, Quinoa is great. Just remember to rinse it before cooking, otherwise it tastes a little musty and bitter. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Kevin DATE:2/10/2009 10:02:00 PM I like using quinoa in salads like this! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Andrea's Recipes (Grow Your Own) DATE:2/20/2009 07:22:00 PM I have the scallions growing in a pot by the window, slow roasted tomatoes from last summer, and basil cubes in the freezer. It sounds like a great combination! Welcome to Grow Your Own. ----- --------