Friday, June 11, 2010

Smoked Salmon Quinoa Salad

I recently went to a potluck in my parents' neighborhood to celebrate my sister's upcoming graduation from high school. I wanted to contribute a simple side dish to share with everyone and be able to try out a new recipe. I opted for a dish that could be started the day before when I had more time and only needed a quick toss together before service. Because the host of the potluck has celiac disease, I wanted to be considerate and make something gluten free. I browsed some gluten free blogs and found this amazing quinoa and smoked salmon salad, a perfect side dish for a potluck, from Gluten-Free Girl. Quinoa is a great grain for those of you unfamiliar with it. It is considered a "perfect food" because it is one of the few vegetarian options that make up a complete protein. Generally you must eat rice with beans to make a complete protein, or a piece of meat. And not that there's anything wrong with rice and beans, or meat for that matter, but I think it's pretty cool that quinoa does that all on its own. It cooks up quickly and resembles couscous. It definitely works as a great alternative to rice or pasta and is perfect for anyone who has a gluten intolerance. I cooked the quinoa the day before and then tossed the rest of the ingredients together before heading to the potluck. The salad can be served cold or at room temperature.

Smoked Salmon Quinoa Salad
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 6 oz smoked salmon, sliced
  • 1/3 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan, with a lid, over medium high heat.
When the butter melts and begins to foam, add the quinoa.
Toast the quinoa for a few minutes until it's lightly browned and begins to pop.
Add the chicken stock and a pinch of salt, if desired.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes covered, until the liquid is absorbed.
Spread the quinoa onto a cookie sheet to cool. This can be done a day ahead.
Toss the cooled quinoa with the salmon, capers, horseradish and chives.
Add the lemon juice right before serving, adding more or less to taste.

For a printable recipe click here

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