This scallop-studded quinoa salad gets an exciting texture from crunchy snow peas, red bell pepper and scallions. Feel free to substitute shrimp or thin slices of chicken for the scallops.
Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops & Snow Peas
Makes: 6 servings, about 1 cup each
- 12 ounces dry sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or dry bay scallops (see Note)
- 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari, or soy sauce, divided
- 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well (see Tip)
- 2 teaspoons grated or minced garlic
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced snow peas, (1/2 inch thick)
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Toss scallops with 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place a large, high-sided skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until the quinoa begins to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover and cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Do not stir.) Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in snow peas, cover and let stand for 5 minutes more.
Meanwhile, whisk 3 tablespoons canola oil, the remaining 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce), vinegar and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and snow peas, scallions and bell pepper; toss to combine.
Remove the scallops from the marinade and pat dry. Heat a large skillet over medium-high until hot enough to evaporate a drop of water upon contact. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil and cook the scallops, turning once, until golden and just firm, about 2 minutes total. Gently stir the scallops into the quinoa salad. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.
Be sure to buy �dry� scallops, which are scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP. Scallops that have been treated with STP (�wet� scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are mushy, less flavorful and won't brown properly.
Tip: Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering. Find it in natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.