Sac Food Bloggers Potluck
I love potlucks! Where else can you enjoy multi-ethnic cuisine and about a dozen different desserts all in one sitting? Sunday marked the second annual Sacramento Food Bloggers Potluck, and it was a first for the SacFoodies. Jenna and I were thrilled to be invited by hosts Elise and Garrett. From wild duck sausage and Portuguese salted cod to a decadent flourless chipotle chocolate cake and a summery cherry crisp, it was a smorgasbord of good eats and great company (much of the good company is listed in our blogroll to the right).
Jenna brought fresh picked cherries which were a perfect balance of tart and sweet. I’ve been playing around with quinoa a lot lately and thought it would be a nice side dish, especially when I heard there would be a vegan attending and assumed he may not be diving into the grilled antelope or Indonesian pork meatballs with peanut sauce (both of which were fab!).
Following is my recipe for Veggie Quinoa Salad. The beauty of this salad is that it’s super versatile and easy. I’ve tried it with artichoke hearts, white beans, carrots…you name it. Also, I recommend cooking the quinoa in stock to make it more flavorful. I used vegetable stock here, but I typically use chicken stock.
Veggie Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 pound roasted asparagus*, cut in 1” pieces
Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Add quinoa and stock to rice cooker and cook according to rice cooker directions. After quinoa is cooked, add to large bowl and let cool. Next, add bell pepper, onion and basil and mix thoroughly. Then, add the asparagus and gently fold into the quinoa. After the salad is well mixed, pour in vinaigrette. Chill for at least 2 hours.
*Roasted Asparagus: Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare asparagus by rinsing it and cutting off the bottoms (maybe 2 inches). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper and gently toss asparagus with your hands to make sure each piece is coated with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 12 minutes. Let the asparagus cool in the roasting pan at least 30 minutes before cutting it and adding to the salad.
Makes 8 servings