Quinoa and Green Bean Salad

Saw this recipe sitting at the chiropractor’s office the other day.  Coincidentally, a few hours earlier I had picked up some fresh purple string beans at the Farmers Market.  I love quinoa, so this seemed perfect.  In case you are wondering, purple string beans turn green when cooked.

Quinoa and Green Bean Salad

from Whole Living July/August 2010

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup for the dressing
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa
1-3/4 cups water
1 lb. green beans, trimmed (cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces)
1 cup flat parsley leaves
3 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook, stirring until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in quinoa and cook for 1 minute. Add water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered until water is absorbed, about 16 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes; fluff with fork. Cool completely, about 25 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. of salt and beans, cook until bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Combine quinoa, green beans and parsley. Dress with 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper.

Notes
I didn’t have any flat parsley, so I made the recipe without it.  It tasted great anyway.
I forgot to take pictures of this dish, but will add them the next time I make it.

Red Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant

A couple of weeks ago I picked up some Thai Eggplants (see pics below) at the local Farmers Market.  Despite a 90+° heat wave, I wanted to cook them up, so searched for possible recipes.

I combined two similar recipes:

Jungle Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant Recipe at Epicurious.com

and

Country-Style Curry  (Gaeng Bah) from Real Thai by Nancie McDerrmott

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Thai apple eggplants (see cooks’ note, below)
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 1-1/2 lb pork tenderloin, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (I used pork sirloin steaks cut in thin strips)
  • 1/3 cup julienne strips peeled fresh or frozen grachai (lesser galangal or wild ginger; thawed if frozen) or drained bottled grachai, rinsed, or ginger (I used ginger)
  • 3 oz Chinese long beans or green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 canned baby corn, rinsed, drained, and halved lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 cups Thai chicken stock (I used regular chicken stock)
  • 3 tablespoons nam pla (Asian fish sauce; preferably Thai)
  • 5 (4-inch-long) fresh or frozen Kaffir lime leaves (sometimes called bai makroot); the Kaffir lime leaves I have are much smaller than this, less than 2″ long, so I used about 15 of them
  • 1 fresh chee fah chile or 2 red jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced crosswise and seeds discarded
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup loosely packed bai grapao (holy basil leaves); (I used Thai Basil)

Directions

Trim eggplants and cut into 1-inch wedges (do this just before heating oil to avoid discoloration).

In a large saucepan or wok over medium-low heat, warm the oil until hot but not smoking, about 30 seconds. Add curry paste (to taste) and cook gently, stirring constantly, until very fragrant and a shade darker, 2 to 3 minutes. Add pork and stir-fry over high heat until no longer pink on outside, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggplant, grachai/ginger, beans, baby corn, and stock and simmer, stirring, until eggplant is crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add fish sauce, lime leaves, chile, and salt and bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in half of basil.

Serve over rice (preferably sticky rice) topped with remaining basil.

Notes

I must confess, I did NOT make my own Red Curry Paste (I used Mae Ploy brand) or Chicken Stock (had some in a box).  Next time I would add a bunch of cilantro to the stock and/or make my own, but I doubt I’ll ever be obsessive enough to make my own curry paste when United Noodle is so close to where I live 🙂

In case you are wondering, Thai Eggplants (aka “apple eggplants”) are the size of small apples and/or crabapples and are green or green & white.  They actually look a bit like tomatillos to me.  Anyway, below is a picture.  The ruler next to them is my 6″ bench scraper.

Red Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant

Red Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant served over sticky rice
with Japanese Eggplant and Bok Choi in Yellow Bean Sauce