Quinoa Salad with Frisee, Eggplant, and Corn
Glazed eggplant, corn, and a bright lime vinaigrette join quinoa and lacy frisée for a summery side dish that’s perfect for picnics. Developed by associate food editor Judy Haubert, it’s easy to make gluten-free—just substitute a gluten-free brand of soy sauce.
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 graffiti or Japanese eggplant, cut into 1½” cubes
- 2 tsp. canola oil
- 3 tbsp. honey or agave nectar, divided
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. mirin
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- 2 ear corn, kernels removed (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 head frisée, light green and white parts only, trimmed to 2″ pieces (approximately 2 cups)
- 1⁄3 cup chives, cut into ½” batons
- 2 tsp. lime zest (from 1 lime)
- 3 tbsp. lime juice (from 2 limes)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Combine 6 cups of water with the 1 tbsp. salt in a 3-4 qt. saucepan and bring to a boil. Add quinoa and simmer 12-15 minutes until grains are tender and have separated. Remove from heat and drain quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Set sieve back over empty pot, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest 10-15 minutes.
- Toss eggplant cubes with 1 tbsp. salt and drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Squeeze dry. Heat canola oil in a 10″ sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add eggplant and sauté until browned on all sides, 3-4 minutes. Whisk together 1 tbsp. of the honey or agave, soy sauce, and mirin. Add to eggplant, stirring to coat, and cook 1-2 minutes more until glazed. Transfer to a small bowl, toss with sesame seeds and set aside.
- Whisk together remaining honey, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, ½ tsp. salt and fresh pepper. Toss with cooked quinoa, eggplant, corn kernels, frisée, and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.