by Malia Kirby L.Ac.
Truth? Right now, I am crazy exhausted. Between these strangely high 90+ temperatures for Colorado, the fires north of town, our high pollen levels, and my apparent lack of coffee this morning, all I can genuinely think about is to curl up next to the Wondermutt on his bed situated next to my desk and snooze. So, for today, here’s an easily made vegan recipe for those hot, summer days best spent with friends and a grill.
Quinoa, Red Rice, & Arugula Salad with Orange Vinaigrette & Pistachios
Modified from Food & Wine Magazine
1 c quinoa, soaked and rinsed
1 c red rice
¼ c olive oil, divided
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic confit, pureed
1 t fresh thyme, minced
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ c dried apricots, diced
½ c roasted (unsalted) pistachios, chopped
2 c arugula leaves
Fill two medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa to one saucepan, cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until cooked through. Add the red rice to the other saucepan, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through (or, cook both individually in a rice cooker according to machine instructions ahead of time—this is our method of choice as we’re usually using leftovers). Drain both of the grains, toss together to combine, and allow to cool to room temperature.
While the two grains are cooking, heat 1 T of the olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-low heat and sweat the onion slices for 15 minutes or until completely translucent and beginning to caramelize. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the onions are completely caramelized, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, approximately another 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk together the remaining 3 T olive oil with the orange juice, orange zest, pureed garlic confit, and fresh thyme until emulsified, adding kosher salt & black pepper to taste.
Add the caramelized onions to the cooked and cooked quinoa and red rice mixture along with the diced apricots, chopped pistachios, and the arugula. Drizzle with the orange vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature. Pairs nicely with grilled salmon and Sauvignon Blanc.
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