Quinoa, a "new" ingredient that has been around for thousands of years, is a tiny, high-protein grain from South America. It's nicknamed the "wonder grain" because it cooks more quickly than rice, is virtually foolproof, and is lighter and more nutritious than other grains.
- 12 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 5 pickling cucumbers, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
- 1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 bunches mint leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 heads endive, trimmed and separated into individual spears
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced, for garnish
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water, shaking the sieve well to remove all moisture.
When dry, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, onion, tomato, parsley, mint, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss well. Spoon onto endive spears, top with avocado, and serve.