Tomorrow I am teaching a Passover cooking class. If you have been reading my recent newsletters, you know that Passover is a time when gluten-free folks can celebrate our gluten-free foods. Many items at the store that are kosher for Passover are also gluten-free and the variety of items we can purchase multiplies exponentially.
My favorite Passover foods to teach (and prepare) are the ones that are naturally gluten-free. Quinoa is one of these grains. During Passover, Jews are not allowed to eat certain grains, including wheat and barley. Since quinoa (and amaranth) could technically be confused with wheat and barley, some rabbis did not allow consumption of the grains. However, since quinoa and amaranth were not grown 3-4 centuries ago in the areas where the Jews lived, the rabbis eventually agreed that quinoa and amaranth are considered kosher for Passover, as long as “non-kosher for Passover grains” (such as wheat and barley) were not mixed in.
This is the joy of already being gluten-free. We know that the certified gluten-free quinoa and amaranth are known to not contain wheat or barley. Thank you ANCIENT HARVEST people. This is my favorite brand of quinoa. It doesn’t need to be rinsed and always turns out well. Trader Joe’s quinoa is also considered Kosher for Passover (and I have a feeling is Ancient Harvest brand copackaged for Trader Joe’s).
This is a recipe that I converted from a recent magazine article. I would give credit to the magazine but when I ripped out the recipe it doesn’t say the name of the magazine on the bottom of the page. Sorry!
Quinoa Salad with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds and Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette
3 Tablespoons raisins
2 Tablespoons dried apricots, thinly sliced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (if needed for that brand)
1 large lemon
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
2-3 Tablespoons slivered almonds
freshly ground pepper
salt to taste
In a 2 quart saucepan bring 2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the water is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. When cooked fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow to cool.
Finely grate the zest from one lemon and then squeeze one Tablespoon of juice from the lemon. Mix the zest, lemon juice, oil, coriander, cumin and paprika and a 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, toss the remaining ingredients with the quinoa. Add the dressing and stir. Adjust taste with salt and pepper if needed. May be served room temperature or cold.