Quinoa and black beans are pillars of our pantry. In summer we toss them into a satisfying, protein-packed salad with ripe tomatoes. In winter, however, we replace the tomatoes with something just as refreshing yet more seasonally appropriate: vibrant, juicy oranges.
A quinoa and black bean salad makes an easy, wholesome lunch or a good side for supper. Gluten-free and vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, it's also an ideal dish to share at potlucks and other gatherings.
In addition to fresh orange segments, this quinoa and black bean salad has an orange-coriander dressing made with orange juice, orange zest, fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, and toasted coriander seeds. It brightens up the palate and is just the sort of comforting yet cheerful nourishment we crave this time of year.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Citrus-Coriander Dressing
1 cup uncooked quinoa (any color), rinsed and drained
2 cups water
2 large oranges
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.
Prepare oranges while quinoa is cooling. Finely grate the zest of one orange and set aside. Supreme both oranges, reserving the juice (squeeze the orange membranes after segmenting), and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest, 3 tablespoons of orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, coriander seeds, salt, a few cracks of pepper, and chopped cilantro. Adjust seasonings if desired.
Place quinoa, black beans, onion, and orange segments in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
(Images: Emily Ho)