In Sqirl chef Jessica Koslow's grain-bowl-inspired dish, tender and crunchy buckwheat and quinoa, along with sprouted sunflower seeds, are used to add heft and texture to a fresh fennel and mandarin salad topped with sweet spiced shrimp.
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- 1⁄4 cup buckwheat
- 1⁄4 cup quinoa
- 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. whole fennel seeds
- 2 chiles de árbol, stems and seeds removed
- 8 oz. medium shrimp or prawns, heads and tails on, tail shells removed
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 3 small mandarin oranges, cut into supremes, plus 1/4 cup mandarin juice
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 cup sprouted sunflower seeds
- 1⁄4 cup minced cilantro
- 1⁄4 cup minced dill
- 1⁄4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1⁄4 cup minced mint
- 1⁄4 cup minced tarragon
- 2 tbsp. minced preserved lemon rind
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 small heads fennel, finely diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350°. Place the buckwheat on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and toasted, about 8 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add half the toasted buckwheat to the water and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Using a fine sieve, strain the buckwheat and transfer to a plate to cool completely.
Reduce the oven temperature to 225°. Add the quinoa to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa, spread 1⁄4 cup out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake in the oven until dry and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the quinoa cool completely. Reserve the remaining 1⁄2 cup cooked quinoa in a bowl.
In a 12-inch skillet, toast the cumin and fennel seeds and chiles over medium heat until fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour the spices into a spice grinder and process until finely ground. Scrape the spices into a bowl along with the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and toss until the shrimp are coated in the spices. Place the skillet over medium-high and heat the vegetable oil. Add the shrimp and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the shrimp to a plate. Pour 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the honey, and the 1⁄4 cup mandarin juice into the skillet and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Return the shrimp to the skillet along with the butter and toss the shrimp in the sauce until the butter melts, about 1 minute more. Remove the skillet from the heat and keep the shrimp warm.
In a large bowl, toss the toasted buckwheat, the cooked quinoa, and the remaining 1⁄2 cup lemon juice with the sprouted sunflower seeds, cilantro, dill, parsley, mint, tarragon, preserved lemon, olive oil, scallions, and fennel until evenly combined. Add the mandarin segments, season the salad with salt and pepper, and gently toss again to combine. Divide the salad among 4 large serving bowls and top with the shrimp to serve.