Posts tagged ‘basil’

July 13, 2011

Stormy Summer Strawberry Salad

by Jen

I just bought a basket for my bike!  It is really nice — there’s a brace that I’ve attached to the front of my bike, and the basket itself attaches to the brace, so I can take it off, carry it around, fill it, and re-attach it.  This afternoon I carried home a carton of milk and 2 lb. of strawberries, and it seemed quite stable.  And it was definitely better than biking home with bags dangling from my handlebars!

Future plans: Bake cupcakes, deliver them to my friends.  This plan is dimly inspired by this guy, though soup sounds too heavy.

It was sunny and hot when I conceived of this salad — quinoa, strawberries, and basil in a lemony dressing — and then started pouring as I was finishing preparing it.  It was tasty, and the juice from the strawberries turns the quinoa a pretty pink color.


  • Cook 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt.  Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  • Make dressing by whisking together: juice of 1 lemon, zest of 1 lemon, 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, and salt to taste.  Add to quinoa and stir to mix.
  • Add 2 lb. strawberries, chopped into bite-size pieces and 1 handful basil leaves, ripped apart.  Stir to mix.
  • Chill and eat!
July 5, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lime Dressing

by Jen

I love the way the germ separates from the kernel when quinoa cooks, making those little rings.

Today I wanted to make a salad with quinoa, bell peppers, basil, and black beans.  Then I saw some zucchini I couldn’t say no to, and here we are.

The frequency of the word “chopped” in the below makes me think of a conversation we had on the Fourth of July about whether it’s easier to cook vegetarian or with meat.  I argued “Of course vegetarian is easier” — I’ve only ever cooked vegetarian food, and find the buying of meat, the tidy preparation of meat, and the determination of when meat is “done” all slightly mysterious.  Others argued “Of course it’s easier to cook with meat” — claiming that apparently, once you have learned some basics about cooking meat, it can be much more straightforward to whip up chicken for dinner than to chop a bunch of vegetables and pull together a “simple” vegetarian main dish like this one.  Any thoughts?  Perhaps Ravi can post his boiled hot dog recipe and we can compare prep times…

Ingredients for the zucchini mixture:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1 large bunch basil, chopped up a little
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • splash of olive oil

Other ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 box cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can black beans
  • salt


  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add cumin seeds.  When they start to sizzle, add onion.  Saute for 5 minutes, until the onion softens.  Add zucchini, and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the zucchini softens.  Add garlic, and cook a minute or two more.  Put the zucchini mixture aside.
  • Cook the quinoa. (I did this in the same pot.)
  • Make the dressing by blending together the basil, lime juice, rice vinegar, and a splash of oil.  (I did this using our hand blender.)
  • Put the cooked quinoa in a large bowl, add the dressing, and mix until well-combined.  Salt to taste.  Add the zucchini mixture, and stir to mix.  Add the remaining ingredients — bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and black beans.  Taste, adding more salt if needed.
  • Eat hot, at room temperature, or cold!
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