Quinoa, Sweet Corn, Lime & Jalapeño Salad ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quinoa, Sweet Corn, Lime & Jalapeño Salad

The best most people can hope for is to co-exist peacefully with their mother-in-law. But I actively love mine. I sometimes joke that I married my husband for his mother and although it's not actually true, she definitely sweetened the deal.

She's one of those rare individuals who manage to be genuinely happy, loving, giving and fun while remaining down-to-earth and approachable. She's also been head over heels in love with our son since he came into the world a little over three years ago. She watches him for us often and invites us over for dinner all the time, too. My only complaint is that I can sometimes feel a bit lame in comparison  with her. But that is a problem I am HAPPY to live with.

She recently turned 60 and her best friend threw her a truly gorgeous party to celebrate. When I arrived I was practically speechless over how beautiful everything looked -- I was half expecting someone to get married... See what I mean? (Many thanks to Dion for the beautiful photo!)

Photo by Dion Ogust, copyright 2012. http://www.dionphoto.com/

It was a beautiful night with a huge yellow moon, a lot of crickets doing their thang, great live music by a few friends, and, perhaps most importantly, really good food. Grilled ribs, chicken and corn on the cob with a bunch of homemade sides including chopped summer salad and my current favorite, green bean and potato salad with lemon dill aioli made for some yummy eating. This quinoa salad rounded out the selection of sides (all chosen so that people who are gluten and dairy-free could partake.)

Quinoa, Sweet Corn, Lime & Jalapeno salad by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

It was new to me and I really enjoyed the mix of southwestern flavors - corn, lime, jalapenos, sage and cilantro.

Cilantro by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

You've got lots of sweetness between the corn and the red onion.

Sweet corn by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

A little bit of heat from the jalapeños and lots of fresh, bright flavor from the cilantro and the sage.

Red onion by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

The sophisticated sourness of the fresh lime juice tempers the sweetness of the corn and sauteed onions.

Juicing limes by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

And quinoa's mild nuttiness provides a nice base for all these flavors to show off.

Quinoa Awaiting a Rinse by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

A perfect late summer (how on earth did it get to be LATE summer already?!) salad flecked with green herbs and studded with yellow kernels of corn and soft, sweet pieces of purple onion.

Quinoa, Sweet Corn, Lime & Jalapeno salad by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Feel free to fool around with the proportions - you can use more or less jalapeño, corn, cilantro, etc., it's all flexible based on your preferences.

Quinoa, Sweet Corn, Lime & Jalapeño Salad
Serves 4-6 


* 1 1/2 cups of quinoa
* 2 1/2 cups of water
* 3-4 ears of corn shucked and cut off the cob
* 1 large red onions, chopped
* 1/2-1 jalapeño, seeds and inner membranes removed, finely chopped (don't touch your eyes for hours!)
* 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
* 1/4 cup coarsely chopped oregano or sage
* Olive oil
* Lots of sea salt
* Lots of freshly ground black pepper


1. Cook the quinoa: bring a medium-large pot of water to a boil; while it's heating up, rinse the quinoa in several changes of water and drain thoroughly. Once the water reaches a boil, add the quinoa, stir, and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes on low heat or until you see the little curly white tail of the quinoa grains emerge. Turn off the heat, stir in a few tablespoons of olive oil and set it aside.

2. Heat some olive oil in a wide frying pan. Add the onion and sauté it over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, then add the corn and sautee for another 3-5 minutes until the corn is just tender. Season it all with sea salt and let it cool.

3. Combine the quinoa, onions and corn, chopped jalapeño, lime juice, 3-4 Tbsps olive oil and toss it all with roughly several teaspoons of salt (adjust as needed) then add the fresh herbs and mix to make sure everything is distributed evenly. Serve warm or cold.

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Rekha said...

Easy and different. And connected with your truly lovely mother-in-law. I will be making soon! Thanks!

Kirsten Lindquist said...

I love these kinds of salads, thanks for sharing! Lucky you for such a great family!