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Quinoa Salad with Pepper Mango Salsa - Ensalda de Quinoa con Mango

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Quinoa Salad with Pepper Mango Salsa - Ensalda de Quinoa con Mango

Quinoa Salad with Pepper Mango Salsa - Ensalda de Quinoa con Mango

Marian Blazes
Our family calls this favorite salad "Uncle Chris' Crazy Quinoa." Uncle Chris (who is not the most avid cook in the family but is known for certain signature dishes) invented this unusual salad featuring the high protein grain quinoa. Everyone who tries it loves it. The key ingredients are the Pecorino Romano cheese and the mango - not a traditional combination, but one that works very well here.

This is an attractive salad, and it's filling enough to be a main course. Uncle Chris says that he could survive as a vegetarian if he could eat something like this every night (which he apparently can't for some reason). There is a bit of chopping involved, but otherwise this is an easy straightforward recipe. Uncle Chris also notes that any leftover "dressing" from the salsa is great as a marinade or salad dressing.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa - a mixture of red, black, and regular quinoa
  • 2-3 bell peppers, in assorted colors (red, yellow, orange)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large mango, just ripened or even a bit firm
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan) cheese

Preparation:

  1. Remove the seeds from the peppers and cut them into a small dice. Place them in a bowl. Cut the onion into small dice and add to the bowl.

  2. Remove the seeds from the tomato and cut into a small dice (see how to seed and dice a tomato), and add chopped tomato to the bowl.

  3. Peel the mango and cut flesh into small dice, avoiding the fibrous seed (see how to cut a mango), and add the mango to the vegetables.

  4. Mince the garlic and add to the bowl along with the cilantro.

  5. Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture, add the olive oil, and toss everything together well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and cook the quinoa.

  6. Rinse the quinoa grains and place them in a large saucepan. Cover them with 3 1/2 to 4 cups water and add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to the water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes, until quinoa grains have swollen and they have a visible "tail". Remove cover, turn off heat, and let quinoa grains dry out for about 5 minutes. Fluff grains with a fork.

  7. To serve: Place warm quinoa on individual plates or serving platter. Sprinkle freshly grated cheese over quinoa. Top with vegetable/mango salsa, including some of the dressing. Serve immediately.

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