Quinoa, Pea and Black Bean Salad

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

Salt to taste

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

3/4 cup fresh English peas (1 pound in the pod), raw or steamed 5 minutes (to taste)

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 serrano chili, seeded if desired and finely chopped (optional)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus several sprigs for garnish

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

1 small garlic clove, puréed

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or a combination of olive oil and grapeseed oil

1/4 cup buttermilk (or whey left over from yogurt making!)

1. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse several times with cold water. Place in a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes, until the grains display a threadlike spiral and the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, remove the lid and place a dish towel over the pan, then return the lid to the pan and let sit for 10 minutes or longer undisturbed. Transfer to a salad bowl and fluff with forks.

2. Toss the black beans, peas, red pepper, chili pepper and cilantro with the quinoa.

3. Mix together the lime juice, vinegar, salt to taste, garlic and cumin. Whisk in the olive oil and the buttermilk. Toss with the salad and serve.

Note: you may only need about half the dressing. 

This will keep for a day in the refrigerator before serving, and the leftovers will be good for a couple of days.

Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 252 calories; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 32 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 217 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 9 grams protein.

From NYT, Martha Shulman