Purple potato and Quinoa Salad8:15 PM
I have been cooking and experimenting more than I usually do these days back in Kolkata. The whole day I just keep opening the fridge, touch the ingredients and wait for my daughter to sleep. And once she does I start working like a maniac, peeling some veggies here, whizzing some berries there. I do all I can to experience these new ingredients. In the hotel I could try only easy recipes like Guacamole sandwich or Chorizo rice. But now that we have shifted to an apartment complete with a big oven, microwave and a huge fridge my experiments is stopping within any boundary.
Last week while doing our veggie shopping I bought a small sack of gorgeous purple potatoes. Yes you heard me right, deep purple pretty potatoes and some Artichokes. I have neither touched or ate these two veggies before so I was definitely excited. My imaginations ran wild and finally decided on making a simple salad with Quinoa, steamed purple potato, sauteed asparagus in a simple Chermoula style dressing. For variation in texture I ended up adding a handful of sunflower seeds.
The artichokes were steamed for a simple snack with dip. We liked this new veggies but were not overwhelmed with the taste or texture the way we are with purple potatoes. It made us feel like small kids to discover something so unusual in colour yet so familiar in taste. We enjoyed our meal with a poached egg on top.
You note down the recipe while I head out to scour some more new ingredients to cook with.
Note: I have added a lot of recipes on my Facebook page, mostly those which I cook in ziffy for our dinners and never get the time to post on my blog. If you are looking for recipes for weeknight quick meals then you might would like to check them here.
Quinoa salad with purple potatoes and veggies
Quinoa: 250 gms (I used rainbow quinoa)
Purple potatoes/ any potato: 4 medium
Onion: 1/2 of a medium purple one (Sliced 1/4 cup)
Garlic: 2 fat cloves
Asparagus: 1/2 bunch (8-9)
Carrots: 1 medium
Red/yellow/ green capsicum: 1/2 of each or wahtever you get
Tomato: 1 firm medium sized
coriander leaves: handful
coriander powder: 1/3 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsp (used sunflower oil)
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Sunflower seeds or any nuts for crunch
Steam the purple potatoes till they are cooked through. Take out and dunk them in cold water. Once they are cool to touch, drain the water and put them in the fridge. This will restore it's beautiful colour. If using normal white potato you can either steam or boil them. I used my rice cooker to steam the potatoes.
Cook the Quinoa as per the package instruction. Then let it cool.
While these things are getting cooked, Prepare the veggies.
Peel and very finely slice the onion in half moon shape.
Wash and cut the asparagus in 1/2-3/4" pieces.
Chop the bell peppers or capsicum in cubes.
Finely chop the garlic and coriander leaves.
Cut tomato and carrots in cubes.
Once the Quinoa cools down, Start preparing the veggies.
Heat the oil on medium and place all the asparagus and carrots. Sprinkle little salt and pepper and cook on medium till they are cooked yet retains the crunch. Salad does not taste good with mushy veggies. so cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic, Bell peppers and coriander powder. mix and switch off the flame. Add the onion, coriander leaves and mix. Sprinkle more salt and pepper. Once it cool down a little bit pour in the lemon juice and and adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
dunk in the boil Quinoa in it and give it a good mix. The chopped tomato goes next. Adjust the taste with more seasoning if needed.
Dish out in individual bowls with a sprinkling of any roasted seeds or chopped nuts.
A Homemaker's Notes:
This is the first time I cooked Quinoa and the taste is so similar to Millet. If you have access to Millet then go ahead and use it the same way. To prepare Millet refer to this recipe of Millet Upma.
No need to buy asparagus if you are in India like me or any other place where you dont get it, use French beans instead. For purple potatoes use normal potatoes.
You can add plenty of other veggies like Broccoli, cauliflower, beans, peas, sweet corns, lettuce etc.
You can add olives too but i wanted to keep the recipe fresh so did not use any preserved food.