Quinoa Salad with Lime Ginger Dressing and Shrimp

Another one from the New York Times. This salad is delicious for warm summer nights. I loved the shrimp in it, but I recommend marinating them a bit first just to add some kick to them. I put them in a little lime juice, mexican salt, cayenne and let them sit for a few hours before tossing them into the salad. This salad is so basic you could add whatever else you want to it, I thought of tomatoes, corn, olives just as ideas.

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (more to taste)
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil or walnut oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons buttermilk

For the salad:
3 cups (3/4 cup uncooked) (see cooking instructions for quinoa below)
4 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thin
1 small cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
12 to 16 cooked medium shrimp, peeled


1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne, sesame oil, canola oil, and buttermilk.
2. In a salad bowl, combine the quinoa, scallions, cucumber, and cilantro. Toss with the dressing and divide among salad plates. Top each portion with 3 or 4 shrimp, and serve.

Yield: Serves 4
Advance preparation: The cooked quinoa will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. You can make the dressing and prep the ingredients for the salad a few hours ahead

Basic Steamed Quinoa:
Many recipes for quinoa suggest cooking it like rice, in two parts water for one part quinoa. This works, but I find the grains are fluffier if I cook them in three parts water and drain the excess water once the quinoa is tender. The tiny seeds swell to about four times their original size, so 1 cup uncooked quinoa yields about 4 cups, enough for 6 to 8 servings.
1 cup quinoa
3 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.
2. Bring the water or stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt and the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and translucent, and each grain displays a little thread. Drain and return to the pan. Cover the pan with a clean dish towel, replace the lid and allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Fluff and serve.