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Asian Cucumber Quinoa Salad (August 2, 2001)

Great Greenhouse Goodies!

Imagine the perfect world in which to grow up... great climate, pollution free, just the right amount of sunshine and a healthy diet – ahhhhh, bliss. But wait! It's not for humans; the residents of this paradise are Ontario Greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes! These virtually organic, totally pampered vegetables are hand picked and hand packed, and shipped out within 24 hours!

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers sent us a great little recipe book telling us how to shop for the best greenhouse vegetables and including great seasonal recipes for once you've got them home. We especially like the Asian Cucumber Quinoa Salad; it's quick and easy, with a wonderful combination of flavours, just perfect as a summer side dish with grilled meat or fish.

Asian Cucumber Quinoa Salad

Make this tasty summer salad ahead to give it time to chill in the fridge. We also enjoy this dish as a perfect hot weather lunch with a chilled soup and crusty bread on the side. Finish with green tea ice cream to complement the slightly exotic flavours!

Serves 4

½ cup quinoa (125 mL)
1 cup water (250 mL)
1 seedless cucumber, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
half sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (50 mL)
¼ cup chopped green onions (50 mL)
2 Tbsp (25 mL) each: soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar
1 tsp liquid honey (5 mL)
1 tsp finely grated gingerroot (5 mL)

Accompanying wine?
Tony Recommends...

an oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc from California (e.g. Mondavi Fumé Blanc) or Chile (Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc).

In saucepan, bring quinoa and water to boil; cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; let cool.

Add cucumber, tomato, red pepper, pine nuts, onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, honey and ginger, toss to combine.

NOTE: Home Economist Barb Holland told us that quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient grain from the Andes that has recently been introduced as a true "superfood" since it has more high-quality protein than any other grain.The tiny seeds are light, easily digestible and best of all, delicious! Rinse quinoa well before cooking or there will be a bitter edge to its otherwise delicate flavour.

Did You Know?
Greenhouse cucumbers are totally edible and get their "burpless" or seedless benefit from the fact that they aren't pollinated. The seeds never fully develop and the skin stays tender and delicious!

For more information and great recipes, contact The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers at 1-800-265-6926.

Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

 

 

 

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