Home Cook

It Resembles Tabbouleh

Last night’s dinner came out very good; I’ll bring it to work for lunch today.

Quinoa Salad

from the store:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 bunches green onions

from the garden:
  • random number of tomatoes, whatever is ripe
  • a good handful of parsley
  • a basil leaf or two
  • tiny sprig of mint

vinaigrette dressing* of your choice

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Usually, you need to wash it in a few changes of water to get rid of any saponins (responsible for a soapy taste and digestive distress), then cook it like rice, one part quinoa to two parts water for 15-20 minutes. Pop it in a big bowl to cool.

Quarter the cukes lengthwise, then thickly slice. Toss in with the quinoa.

Slice off the root ends of the onions then thinly slice the rest, using all the white and whatever of the green is crisp and bright. Toss in with the quinoa.

Cut tiny tomatoes in halves or quarters (I had grape tomatoes and little yellow pear tomatoes); larger tomatoes should be diced to about the same size as the babies. Toss in with the quinoa.

Mince the herbs. I use a large wooden bowl and a mezzaluna knife; works great. Toss in with the quinoa.

Pour in the vinaigrette and blend everything together. Chill for an hour or two so the flavors "marry." Serve cold or room temperature.

*I am no expert at salad dressings, but I used 1/2 cup olive oil, about 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, juice of the 1/2 lime that was lurking in the fridge, two cloves of garlic minced, plus salt and pepper, whisked together. It was just right.


Summer Noodles

Here’s a nice summery sweet and sour salad I’ve been experimenting with lately. It’s adapted from "Vinegar Noodles," a recipe I clipped out of a magazine, probably from Taste of Home. It reminds me of my mother’s cucumber and onion salad, crossed with a 1980s pasta salad. Adjust the sugar/vinegar balance to your taste.

Summer Noodles
a work in progress

  • 2-3 cups uncooked spiral pasta. I use tri-color brown rice pasta.
  • 1 or 2 cucumbers, about 1/12-2 cups, sliced very thin
  • 1 onion, about 1 cup, halved and sliced very thin
  • fresh parsley, chopped, maybe 1/4 cup
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced very fine, or use a garlic press
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 c white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 c white sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp (1/2 tablespoon) brown mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Cook pasta to package directions. Drain.

While pasta is cooking, whisk together in large bowl


Add warm pasta and sliced vegetables, toss well. Refrigerate at least an hour.

If I had fresh dill, I'd probably add that, too.

Really good with leftover herbed pork roast. Cut pork into cubes and heat about two minutes in the microwave; while still warm, toss into the noodles. I'll bet it would be good with canned or fresh-cooked garbanzo beans or kidney beans, too.