Quinoa Salad Stuffed Artichoke Recipe

Quinoa Salad Stuffed Artichoke Recipe Recipe

Our family's just back from our wonderful trip to Europe. Our last stop was in Paris and I have to stay I might have overindulged on delicious pastries from my favorite boulangerie, Moulin de la Vierge.  Their croissants are to die for. As a result, now that I'm home I'm preparing light, healthy meals.

For this recipe, I stuffed tomato and corn quinoa salad into jumbo artichokes and served them during our quiet July 4th weekend. 

I want to thank the people who stopped by during my booksigning event at Barnes & Noble Blossom Hill. I'm going to be repeating the fun next Saturday at Barnes & Noble Eastridge, so if you live in the Bay Area, please mark your calendar!

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings

8 jumbo artichokes
6 ounces artichoke hearts, drained
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup tri-color quinoa (see tips)
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
½ teaspoon sugar
2¼ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
½ cup frozen corn kernels, boiled and drained
½ cup cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ cup mung beans, boiled and drained
1 tablespoon chives, snipped
1 Persian cucumber (or ½ cup), diced


Directions

Prepping the lemon: Zest the lemon and gather about 1 teaspoon. Juice it and set aside.

Roasting the bell pepper: Stem, wash and pat dry the bell pepper. Brush with oil. Place a grill on your stove and char all the skin of the pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until you can handle it without discomfort. Clean the pepper using a knife; the skin will come right off. Seed it and chop the flesh.

Prepping the artichoke hearts: Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts. Set aside.

Making quinoa: Fill a saucepan with the vegetable broth. Add the quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid evaporates. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. 

Preparing artichokes: (While the quinoa is cooking)

Place a large bowl filled with water in the sink. Swirl each artichoke upside down in the water. Make sure there is no dirt trapped between the leaves. Cut the tough outer leaves. Cut the stems and trim the tops a little, using a sharp knife. Cut the thorns from the leaves using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife.

For the quinoa salad: Add the lemon zest, sugar, artichoke hearts, 4 tablespoons chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, corn, mung beans and chives to the quinoa. Drizzle with vinegar, lemon juice and 4 tablespoons oil. Mix well. Let rest at room temperature.

Boiling the artichokes:

Place the artichokes in a very large pot. Cover with 1 quart of water.

Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 30-35 minutes until the bottoms of the vegetables are tender. A good way to check is to poke the choke with a paring knife.

Remove the artichokes from the pot and let stand for about 5-10 minutes. Drain the artichokes thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate). Once the artichokes are cool enough to handle and have dried thoroughly, remove the center leaves. Using a large spoon, scoop out and discard the lower portions (inedible part) until you reach the heart.

Assembly:

Spoon the artichoke quinoa salad into each artichoke. Top with more tomatoes. Drizzle with more olive oil.

Bon appétit!


Tips

You can also use chicken broth to prepare quinoa. My husband is a vegetarian so I use vegetable broth.

You can find mixed-colored quinoa at Trader Joe's.

I used jumbo-sized artichokes because the bigger the artichoke, the bigger the heart. Selecting artichokes is very easy; simply pick dense, tightly packed leaves and sharp thorns. The stem should be still moist with a light color, which indicates freshness. 

You don't have to trim the leaves (thorns) but I always find it unpleasant to be "stabbed" by an artichoke leaf.

Cooked artichokes do not refrigerate well; so prepare them right before serving.

You can keep the uncooked artichokes in the refrigerator for several days in the vegetable drawer. Make sure you wrap the stem with a moist paper towel to prevent oxidation. Alternatively, you can put them in a vase filled with room temperature slightly sweetened water. It's pretty and it reminds you that they need to be cooked. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on July 7, 2014.


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