Lemon Rosemary Kale and Quinoa salad
Have you made the shift yet? As the seasons grow colder and the days get shorter, have you noticed your bodies natural tendency to want to slow down a bit, to linger a little longer in the warmth of your bed, or with your morning cup of tea/coffee? Has your appetite for warmer, denser, more comforting foods increased? Mine has, but I am not yet ready to give up the flavors of summer, so I made this transitional salad.
In the summer I would have used raw red pepper in place of the roasted tomatoes. I would not have blanched the kale, and I probably would have chosen white quinoa. Here the extra chewiness of the red quinoa and the cooked vegetables make it more suitable for the season, and it's every bit as delicious, a little bit lemony, a little bit piney, and a little bit of summer's sweetness.
1 c. quinoa
2 scallions sliced thinly
1 buch of kale de-stemmed chopped coarsely
1/2 c. roasted cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. corn
2 T. lemon juice
4 T. olive oil
1 1/2 t. fresh rosemary finely chopped
2T. chopped parsley
1 small clove of garlic crushed or minced
pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees.
Start by roasting the tomatoes if you don't already have some on hand. You can choose to cut them in half or not. Of course cutting them shortens the cooking time. I usually cut them unless they are tiny. Place the tomatoes on a sheet pan and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Mix the oil into the tomatoes, and then sprinkle with a bit of salt. They will take about 25 minutes to roast. Give them a stir about half way through. You can let them go longer if you want a more concentrated caramelized flavor.
Rinse the quinoa very well. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water with about 1/2 t. of salt until tender. This takes about 20-25 minutes. You can drain off any excess water if the quinoa seems done before it is all absorbed. You don't want mushy grains.
In the meantime cook the kale and corn. I start with a pan of salted boiling water a few inches deep and plunge the kale into it. You only want to wilt and soften it, so leave it for only a minute or two. I remove the kale with a slotted spoon to a colander and using the same water cook the corn until tender, and then drain it. Don't forget to squeeze out the excess water from the kale. I do this by using the spoon to press it against the colander.
Then make the dressing by combining all the ingredients.
When all the components are ready mix everything together including the scallions. This salad is best at room temperature, and if you make it a bit ahead, it appreciates the time for the flavors to mingle and get acquainted. Leftovers may be even better the next day.
Note: rosemary aids digestion, is anti inflammatory, and best of all can increase blood flow to the brain. I need to find more recipes with rosemary!