Rochelle Bilow, photo by Max Kelly
Quinoa’s a classic weeknight go-to—but tonight we’re trying something special. Puff your quinoa and discover a whole new look and feel for one of our favorite seeds.
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GRAIN SALAD WITH PUFFED RED QUINOA AND LABNEH
If puffing the quinoa feels like too much, swap in some chopped toasted nuts to get a similar crunchy texture.
- 1½ cups cooked red quinoa (from about ½ cup dried)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup olive oil, plus more
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ large shallot, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 3 cups cooked grains (such as farro, amaranth, bulgur, and/or barley; from about 1 cup dried)
- ¾ cup labneh (Lebanese strained yogurt) or plain Greek yogurt
- 3 cups mild sprouts (such as pea and/or sunflower), divided
- Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Preheat oven to 200°. Spread out ½ cup cooked quinoa on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until quinoa is dry and no longer sticks together, 30–45 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until almost smoking (oil needs to be very hot). Remove from heat, add dried quinoa, and quickly cover. Cook, shaking saucepan vigorously, just until quinoa is puffed, which will happen almost immediately. Transfer quinoa to paper towels to drain.
Whisk sugar, ½ cup olive oil, and 3 Tbsp. lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with kosher salt and pepper. Toss in shallot, chives, cooked grains, remaining 1 cup cooked quinoa, and half of puffed quinoa; season with kosher salt and pepper.
Spread labneh on plates. Top with salad, sprouts, and remaining puffed quinoa. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice; season with sea salt.