I’m performing with a modern dance company this weekend, which means I have a lot of rehearsals this week. Performance weeks are always tricky, because theater rehearsals fall at odd times. This week, for instance, I have a tech/dress rehearsal going from about 4pm-10pm, and a 6:30pm call time for an 8pm performance. This makes meals very tricky. In addition to having little time to cook, I also need food that is easy to pack up and can be eaten cold. To find something that fits these requirements, I once again referenced my recipe binder.
I found a number of appealing options in my “Vegetarian Main Dishes” section, but decided to go with the Quinoa, Garbanzo, and Spinach Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing from the July 2010 Bon Appetit. I made a few minor adjustments and left out the feta cheese, and ended up with a giant batch of this lovely salad. Now I just have to pack it up and I’m ready for rehearsals!
Quinoa, Garbanzo, and Spinach Salad
- 1 1/2 cups Quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups Baby Spinach Leaves, packed
- 2 15-oz cans Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 3/4 cups English Hothouse Cucumber, cut into 1/3-in cubes
- 1 pint Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup Mint Leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Paprika
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
Place quinoa in a large saucepan and cover with enough salted water to cover quinoa by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender, about 15 to 16 minutes. Drain if necessary, and chill until cooled.
Meanwhile, combine spinach leaves, garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomatoes, and mint leaves in an extra large bowl. Add cooked quinoa an gently toss until mixed.
In a small bowl, whisk vinegar and paprika. Gradually whisk in oil, and season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad, and toss to coat. Season well with salt and pepper.
This dish is easy to put together, and looks lovely! The color of the tomatoes is a refreshing pop in the sea of green vegetables. The paprika dressing is interesting. The sweet sherry vinegar and smoky paprika are a great mix. I’m also a huge fan of mint, so that was also a fun taste to have in this mix.
I’m looking forward to enjoying this dish more this week! I’m happy to have found a good theater food.