LOOKING forward to a summer of warm-weather recipes, Jeannine Sorin has sent in a recipe for quinoa salad that she adapted from allrecipes.com. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is an ancient South American grain that's enjoying some present-day popularity, partly because of its nutritional value (it has a high protein content). It cooks up like rice, at a ratio of about two parts liquid to one part grain, but in even less time, and has a mild taste that blends well with other flavours and textures.
Barbara Gmitrowski offers a recipe for homemade lemonade from a cookbook called Peace, Love and Barbeque, which pretty much sums up my hopes for a Winnipeg May.
Barbara is also wondering whether someone can help her with a recipe for macaroni pie, a popular dish in Barbados. Different from the mac 'n' cheese you usually find in Canada, the Barbadian version is solid enough to cut into wedges. Audra Taylor joins a long list of Recipe Swap readers who miss the Belgian Bakery, especially its elusive recipes for frangipane cake, the mocha cake and the iced double meringues. Please, Belgian Bakery, can't you help us out?
Finally, our very own Miss Lonelyhearts is currently signing herself Desperate for Dressing. Miss Lonelyhearts, aka Maureen Scurfield, is hoping to reunite with a lost love: The Greek dressing from the Garden of Nature salad served at the little salad bar on the second floor of Eaton's downtown. It was creamy, mustard-coloured and contained anchovies and eggs. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to email@example.com, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
250 ml (1 cup) water
250 ml (1 cup) granulated white sugar
juice of 6 lemons (about 250 ml or 1 cup)
1 L (about 4 cups) cold water
Start by making the simple syrup: Combine 250 ml (1 cup) water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat right away and let cool. Juice lemons, keeping pulp if desired, but discarding seeds. In a pitcher, mix the simple syrup with lemon juice to taste and stir well. Add 1 l (4 cups) of cold water and stir again. Refrigerate until well chilled.
Tester's notes: This fresh, fast recipe lets you adjust the sweet-tart balance to your taste by tinkering with the quantities of simple syrup and lemon. I might up the lemon content slightly next time. Simple syrup is also a great thing to have on hand in the summer months for cocktails, iced tea and coffee, and homemade sodas. (Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one month.)
Spiced quinoa salad
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
175 ml (3/4 cup) quinoa
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) curry powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp) cumin
1 ml (1/4 tsp) cinnamon
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
2 ml (1/2 tsp) black pepper
375 ml (1 1/2 cup) chicken stock
1 x 398 ml (1 x 14 oz) can chickpeas (sometimes called garbanzo beans), rinsed well and drained
125 ml (1/2 cup) walnuts, pine nuts or cashews, toasted and chopped
125 ml (1/2 cup) golden raisins, soaked in hot water for 3-5 minutes and drained
60 ml (1/4 cup) parsley, minced
1 tomato, chopped
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for about 20 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat, stir in chickpeas, nuts, raisins, parsley and tomato. Can be served warm or cold. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Tester's notes: This is easy to make, and the quinoa works beautifully with the hot-sweet flavours and the crunch of nuts and chickpeas. I served it warm with roast lamb, and the cold leftovers were just as good the next day.