I love quinoa, and I love salsa, but never had I thought of combining them until attending a Chicago media event to preview upcoming menu items at the Corner Bakery. One of the dishes they served was a quinoa salad made with a corn and black bean salsa. I was pretty excited to get back and make it myself.
I make a lot of quinoa around here. My Veggie Quinoa Burgers are probably my favorite, and most kid friendly way to make quinoa. In the winter time, it also shows up in soup form in a Red Lentil and Quinoa Soup. However, summers are all about quinoa salads. Usually that means simple salads involving quinoa, vinegar, oil, vegetables and herbs. That’s a solid pattern to follow mixing in your favorite of each category.
This is even easier….it’s just mixing quinoa with salsa. Again, not sure why I didn’t think of this before.
The salsa here is going to be “restaurant style”…..not like what you get in a jar. To do this, you’ll need a food processor. It also makes use of canned tomatoes. Since there are only about 4 weeks a year when one can get truly fresh tomatoes in Chicago, I’m just fine with using canned the rest of the time. It’s also a heck of a lot easier and more consistent.
Corn is really the same way. The really good sweet corn only has a few weeks each summer when it’s in its prime. So frozen corn is just fine the rest of the year. It’s getting mixed into a salsa, not served with a rare fine wine, after all. If you do have fresh corn, I’d recommend roasting it first instead of boiling for the best flavor. Cook the ears on a grill or in an oven (wrapped in foil) for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.
I made a huge batch of this on Saturday….it did not last long.
Yield: 8 servings
- 2 Cups Quinoa
- 4 Cups Water
- 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 Cup White Onion, roughly chopped (about half of an onion)
- 1 Lime, Juiced
- 1 Jalapeño (how much of it you use depends on your tolerance for spicy)
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro Leaves
- 1 Cup Cooked Corn Kernels (about 2 ears)
- 1 Can Black Beans
- Cook the Quinoa (2:1 ratio) in the water until fluffy, about 30 minutes
- Place the garlic cloves in the food processor (with a little salt and pepper) and pulse a few times to chop it up
- Pour in one can of tomatoes, liquid and all. Drain the other can in a colander and rinse off in the sink. Place these tomatoes in the processor as well
- Add the onion, lime juice, jalapeño and cilantro leaves and run for about 30 seconds. Check the seasoning, salsa loves salt
- Pour into a pretty large bowl and mix in the corn and black beans
- When the quinoa is done, mix it in as well