Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quinoa with Corn, Scallions & Mint.

I am a firm believer in cooking for the season – partially because I have such a hard time making decisions about what I want to eat, but also because, as with almost everything in my life, I want my meal to fit in with the atmosphere and my mood. In the summer, this means “refreshing” is quintessential.

This recipe caught my eye a long while back when I was gathering literally TONS of recipes in the midst of my quinoa obsession. Hopefully you have all at least tried quinoa – it is really the perfect base to a dish; it’s completely versatile and bland alone, but packed full of protein. 

You can add almost anything you want with it and it becomes an insta-delicious and healthy dish. This one, in particular, screamed summer to me as corn is a staple in my summer diet, and the addition of mint is always inevitably cool and refreshing. 

I also love the flavor that the scallions add to this – I regularly add onions to my quinoa dishes, but the scallions are a stronger, welcome pop of flavor.

What might be best about this dish (or worst, if you want to eat it right away….) is that it tastes best served cold – something that’s always a plus in my book, living in an apartment with no central AC in the height of summer. 

A quick tip on this recipe: it makes a LOT of quinoa. Like, fills the entire bowl (pictured above) to the brim. And unfortunately, fresh mint doesn’t keep extremely well, so this is best eaten in 3-4 days after making it…which if you’re cooking for one (the boy is NOT a quinoa fan) is pretty difficult to do, even if you eat it for lunch & dinner. I keep forgetting this when I make it (dumb dumb) but I would definitely halve this recipe unless you’re serving it to guests!

Quinoa with Corn, Scallions and Mint (adapted from

4 ears corn, shucked (I used frozen because I’m crazy lazy)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest (1-2 lemons – I am not a huge lemon person so less is more)
Juice from one lemon (about 1 tbsp)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups quinoa (about 10 oz)
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint


Put corn in a 5- to 6-quart wide pot, then add water to cover and bring to a boil, covered. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer corn with tongs to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off cobs with a large heavy knife.

Meanwhile, whisk together lemon zest and juice, butter, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined (don’t do this too far in advance or the butter will start to solidify on you!).

Cook quinoa according to package instructions, or until the water is almost soaked up. Cover and let steam until you’re ready for it, and remember to fluff with a fork periodically.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in corn, scallions, mint, and salt and pepper to taste.

Are you a quinoa fan? If you have any favorite recipes, please pass them along!

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