I’m playing the good sister/bad sister game. While I was in Calgary this summer visiting family I made a quinoa salad. Good sister. I’ve been promising my sister the recipe ever since. It’s December. Bad sister. Yesterday I started out with the best intentions to finally make the same salad and post in on here for her. Good sister. It started off well… and then some other power took over. The one calling for something rich and creamy. Something more substantial, yet still subtle and satisfying. I ended up far from my original intentions. Bad sister. But now I have two dishes instead of just one. Good sister.
Sister of mine! This is my public apology. You will get your recipe, I promise. Everyone- there’s more quinoa coming up in the very near future. But for now, black quinoa with creamy tahini and lemon zest is demanding all of the attention. Well, that and this fun side dish- Quick pressed red radish with toasted walnuts and raisins. The best thing about both of these sides is that they can be made a day in advance, and in this busy season, that definitely deserves a Good sister!!
Quick Pressed Red Radish with Toasted Walnuts and Raisins
You can easily adapt this recipe for your own personal taste, so I’m just giving the basics. Want more radish? Use a full bunch, or two even if you’re serving a large group. Same goes for the walnuts. Raisins should always be on the light side. You want their sweetness, but only as a complement to the real star, the radishes.
Wash the radishes, then finely chop them in very thin half moon slices.
Place in a bowl, or a pickle press if you own one.
Add a few drops of umeboshi vinegar to the radishes and massage with your hands. After a minute or so, when you squeeze the radishes in your hand some liquid should run out. If not, add a few more drops of umeboshi vinegar, then massage again until the liquid is easily pressed out.
Place a smaller bowl over top of the radishes, and put a weight in the bowl. I use a big can of tomatoes, or something else heavy from the pantry. I’m still searching for the perfect rock to use!!
Let the radishes press for about an hour.
Meanwhile, wash the walnuts then toast them in a pan.
Wash the raisins, then (optional) put them in a pot of boiling water for a minute, then remove from the water and let cool.
Mix together the radishes, walnuts and raisins and serve. If you don’t want it too salty, you can use just the radishes without the umeboshi/radish liquid.
Black Quinoa with Creamy Tahini Sauce and Lemon Zest
1 Cup black quinoa
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp umeboshi paste
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, (approximately 3/4 of a lemon- squeezed)
1/4 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp brown rice syrup
lemon zest- approx. 1 tsp. or to taste
Rinse the quinoa well, then cook according to the package instructions, as they all seem to vary. For my quinoa I washed it, then soaked it for 10 minutes. The instructions on my package (slightly altered here) were as follows: In a pot, add 1 1/4 cups + 1 tbsp spring water, the quinoa, 2 pinches of sea salt, and a couple drops of olive oil. Bring to a boil and let boil vigorously for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat then simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat, fluff the quinoa, then cover and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes longer.
While the quinoa is cooking, mix together the remaining ingredients, except for the lemon zest, to make the sauce.
Mix the sauce and the cooked quinoa together, and if you can wait, let it marinate in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, mix in the lemon zest. I added in a few bits of arugula, but not too much, as the flavour is spicy and could overwhelm the nice subtlety of the dish.
Just a quick note!! If you haven’t already checked it out, the January cooking class dates are now posted over here! Head on over, mark the dates in your calendar, and get ready for some super good times! And for all you manly men out there, there’s a class just for you- Macro Man Goes to the Superbowl is going to be deliciously full of all kinds of man treats. Of course, women are welcome too!! See you soon!