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Recipe: M Café's scarlet quinoa salad

Recipe: M Café's scarlet quinoa salad
The quinoa salad on the menu at M Cafe. Recipe (Ann Johansson / For The Times)

Total time:

45 minutes, plus cooling time for the quinoa

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Servings:

6

Note:

Umeboshi

(plum) vinegar can be found at Whole Foods markets and Asian markets.

Umeboshi-lemon dressing

2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons dill pickle juice

1 tablespoon best-quality olive oil

In a medium

bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, pickle juice and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes one-fourth cup dressing.

Scarlet quinoa and salad assembly

1 cup quinoa

1/2 cup finely diced red beets

2 cups vegetable broth or water

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1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup diced Japanese or Persian cucumber

2 teaspoons chopped chives

1 tablespoon chopped dill

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Umeboshi-lemon dressing

Salt

1. Wash the quinoa

under cold running water in a fine strainer. Drain well.

2. In a 2-quart,

heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the beets, vegetable broth, olive oil and lemon juice. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the quinoa, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook the quinoa until the grains are translucent and tender and the germ has spiraled out from the grain, about 15 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid.

3. Fluff the quinoa

with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the grains, uncovered, until cool.

4. Fluff the cooled

grains and place them in a large bowl. Gently stir in the cucumber, chives, dill and lemon zest. Stir in half of the dressing, then taste the salad and add additional dressing or salt as desired.

Each serving:

146 calories; 4 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 220 mg. sodium.

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