I have a problem. I hate to measure. And because I hate to measure, I can never make fluffy, firm, delicious quinoa. It will turn out soggy, waterlogged, and mushy every single time. What is my problem?
Well, I did it this time. I made perfect quinoa. And while it's not at all hard or complicated in any way, I'm going to pat myself on the back this time.
As for the salad, whoa! There's sweetness, saltiness, texture, freshness, and richness. The dressing here deviates from the usual lemon/balsamic vinaigrette that I usually do with the addition of a little bit of fig jam to enhance the plum flavor.
- Two handfuls baby arugula
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 plums, ripe but still firm
- crumbled feta
- ingredients for lemon vinaigrette (below)
Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette:
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- approx. 3 tbsp good olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp fig jam or honey
- freshly ground black pepper
Combine the fig jam and lemon juice. Whisk this together and start to slowly pour in the olive oil. Keep whisking until this is completely emulsified. Finish with salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust if necessary.
In a metal mixing bowl, pour the vinaigrette over the arugula and toss to coat with your [clean] hands. Make sure every leaf is coated. Use good judgement but air on the side of caution proportionally. There is literally nothing worse than an over-dressed salad. (Ok I can think of a couple of worst things - dry meat, fruit flies, burnt pans). Spoon the cooked and cooled quinoa into the mixing bowl and give it another good toss. Lastly add the crumbled feta, but no need to toss.
Meanwhile, your grill or grill pan should be getting quite hot. Brush the grates or pan with vegetable oil. When it's smoking, place your quartered plums flesh side down directly on the pan. Leave them there for about 5 minutes without moving. After 5 minutes, flip them so that the other parts of their flesh get grilled. There should be a nice char going on there. When this side is also done, remove and let cool.
Cube the plums and toss this into the mixing bowl. Giving this a final, single toss with your hands so that the items are distributed, and then place in the plate. Finish with a last pinch of salt, and a final squeeze of lemon juice, which is optional. My quinoa wasn't completely room temperature, so the feta melted into it a little bit, which made for some really good flavors and made the dish seem more substantial. Eat. Enjoy. Have a happy summer.