Two necessities led to this recipe: (1) my family is having Easter dinner tomorrow and despite the fact that my brother has been a vegetarian for about 15 years, my mother can’t figure out what to cook and needs my help; and (2) my kefir supply has grown too large and needed paring down.
So I made some of my favorite kefir-based dressing for a springtime quinoa salad, and the results are crunchy, tangy, and filling but not oppressive.
First I cooked carrots, celery, spring onions and green beans until soft with some olive oil, garlic, saffron, salt, and pepper. Then I added water and about a cup and a half of quinoa and simmered until ready.
I fluffed the mixture and let it cool a bit, chopped up several cups of spinach, and combined the spinach, quinoa and veggie mixture with a couple of tablespoons of capers. Why capers? Because lemony flavors are big here. The dressing includes both lemon and sumac, so I wanted a bit of briny citrus to go along with it.
Lastly, I made the dressing from a couple tablespoons sumac, a teaspoon paprika, a quarter cup of olive oil and another quarter cup of kefir, and the juice of one lemon. Whisk, mix into the salad, and enjoy.
The dressing goes well with many recipes. Here, it really livens up what is otherwise a simple dish. And now the lot chills overnight, undoubtedly soaking in the flavors. Good for a vegetarian main dish and an omnivore side dish!