Quinoa Salad with Tangy Tahini Sauce
from Ayurveda Today, Volume 22, Number 4, Spring 2010
Serves 6 as a main dish
Inspired by Middle Eastern fare, this substantial and easy-to-digest spring/summer salad makes a festive offering for a picnic, outdoor cookout, or potluck. Make a dressed-up meal by serving it over a bed of summery fresh garden greens, e.g., lettuce or steamed leafy greens such as kale. The salad becomes more festive by adding a handful of coarsely chopped, oil-cured black olives and/or a handful of lightly toasted pine nuts.
Vata :: pacifying
Pitta :: add more mint than parsley and go light on the sauce
Kapha :: avoid the sauce and the cheese (poor kapha!) or use additional black pepper, and give a generous pinch or two of paprika and/or cayenne pepper
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 pinch hing
1 cup quinoa (a mixture of white and red, if available, for added pizzazz)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tspmineral salt
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cupraisins (optional*), rehydrated in water
1/3 cupsun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped, rehydrated in water (substitution: 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise)
2 large handfuls fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
2 large handfuls fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 tspground cinnamon
1/3-1/2 cupfeta cheese, crumbled (optional*)
Mineral salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*It’s up to the chef whether or not to use the optional additions of raisins and/or feta cheese. This depends on how traditional one is with Ayurvedic food combining which encourages avoiding the combinations of grains with fruit and legumes with both cheese and/or fruit.
Wash the chickpeas in several changes cold water. Cover with at least 4 inches fresh water and soak overnight.
In a separate bowl, wash the quinoa in several changes of cold water, massaging the grain in the process. This removes the sticky coating that can otherwise create digestive distress. For enhanced digestibility, soak the quinoa overnight in a large bowl covered with fresh water.
Begin the salad by preparing the chickpeas. Drain the soaking water then cook in a 2-quart pot covered with 4 inches of water along with the pinch of hing. Scrape off any foam that rises to the top during the cooking process. Plan on approximately 45 minutes for the cooking to be done. When chickpeas are soft, drain and rinse. Set aside.