There’s a small food group I acknowledge that not many people know about. It’s the “When I’m Alone” category. A select few foods that I am rabid for…but others in my house may not be quite as enthusiastic about. Tofu is in that group. So are smashed avocados on toast. Ramen noodles also get filed in there. Hearts of palm are another one – I could eat an entire can of them simply dressed with some vinegar and herbs as a meal (I sometimes do).
Mike was in London for almost a week and I ate this salad – or some variation of it – at least once a day. I cooked a big batch of red quinoa and made some sort of jumbled together salad. Sometimes it had some chopped roasted red peppers in it. Others, scallions and whatever herbs were in the fridge to use up. The constants, though, were avocado and heart of palm. This particular combination that I’m sharing on the blog was my favorite – the nutty texture of the quinoa, the creamy avocado, a little tooth from the garbanzos. It’s just delicious. Use this as a springboard to add whatever other produce you have on hand that you’re craving – some cilantro or fresh oregano would be great in this, too.
Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado & Hearts of Palm – serves 2 as a hearty lunch or 4 as a side dish
– Using a super fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa under cool water and allow to drain.
– In a medium sized pot (one that has a lid), pour in the quinoa and allow to toast over medium heat for a minute or two. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
– While the quinoa is cooling down, combine the diced avocado, heart of palm, chickpeas, onion, red pepper, olive oil and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the cooled quinoa gently as to not mush up the avocado and hearts of palm. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, to taste and adjust the amount of vinegar if you want more tang. Serve at room temperature.