Alternately, what to eat when you need a little cheering up.
The birds are chirping, the air is fresh, and spring is finally here. But I’ve got a touch of March malaise. My Flyers didn’t make the big dance. Then, at the NIT, they had a meltdown.
Most Flyers fans can handle the roller coaster, but I am made of weaker stuff. I am not a born Flyers fan like Mr. Radar, and I am frequently prone to March Madness malaise. A syndrome that I can trace back to my high school journalism teacher, Mr. George and my time writing for the Forest Edge. (My high school’s austere publication). I was encouraged to go to Dayton by Mr. George, who was also the high school basketball coach. He seamed proud that I chose a “basketball school” as opposed to an athletics farm (his words). After I had officially chosen Dayton over Xavier in early March, Mr. George handed me my very first March Madness bracket and a green pen. Dayton didn’t make the dance that year. But I won the pool anyway.
I have never again won the pool- but I have cheered for the Flyers ever since. So this salad is the sustenance I need to get through my March malaise. This salad is sunny, fluffy, and bright. Little bits of citrus, salty feta, and flecks of olive are little treasures, buried in fluffy, golden grain.
Sunny Quinoa Salad
Adapted from My Pantry Shelf on Food52.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cups shallot, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta (I have tried this with goat cheese, it was good, too).
- zest from one sweet orange (I went with Cara Cara and Blood Oranges)
- 3 Sweet Oranges (I used two Cara Cara oranges and one Blood Orange. The original recipe recommends mandarins, which I did not have).
- 1/2 cup slivered Almonds, toasted
(1) Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the shallots, and cook until the shallots are translucent. Add the Quinoa, and allow the grain to toast in the pan with the shallots for about one minute. Then add the water.
(2) Bring the Quinoa and Water to boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook for 7-10 minutes. The quinoa should be soft and squiggly when it is finished.
(3) Meanwhile, segment the oranges, chop the olives, and toast the slivered almonds.
(4) Allow the finished Quinoa to cool to room temperature. When cool, add the olives, feta, oranges, and almonds.
Serve and Enjoy! Makes 4-6 side dish servings, or 2-3 main servings.