Quinoa Salad with Charred Tomato Vinaigrette and Crab

Broccoli tabbouleh salad
Photo by Marshall Troy

Courtesy Jennifer Carroll, chef/co-owner, Spice Finch, Philadelphia

At her Philadelphia restaurant, Spice Finch, Jennifer Carroll puts a contemporary American spin on Mediterranean cuisine. In this dish, quinoa is an ingenious (and gluten-free) alternative to the bulgur wheat traditionally used in tabbouleh. The tomato vinaigrette is great with any robust salad, as well as on grilled fish or chicken.

Three Salad Recipes that Pair Perfectly with Wine
Salad Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 packed cup mixed fresh herbs (parsley, mint, cilantro and/or basil), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo or red pepper flakes
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • Salt
  • Charred Tomato Vinaigrette (recipe and ingredients below)
  • 1 pound fresh or jumbo lump crab meat
Salad Directions

Peel broccoli stems with vegetable peeler. Grate broccoli on box grater, using big holes for florets and fine holes for stems. Transfer to large bowl and add quinoa, tomatoes, onion, pepper, herbs, spices and lemon zest. Season with salt, to taste. Add tomato vinaigrette, to taste, until salad is well coated but not soggy. Top with crab. Serves 4.

Charred Tomato Vinaigrette Ingredients
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt
Charred Tomato Vinaigrette Directions

Place tomatoes and onion slices on cast-iron pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Cook, turning often, until soft and lightly charred, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to blender and add ginger. Cover and cool to room temperature. Add vinegar and ¼ cup water, and blend until smooth. With blender running, slowly add oil until dressing emulsifies. Add salt, to taste. Makes about 3½ cups.

 

Pair It

Jamsheed 2017 Illaj Pinot Noir (Victoria).“This has characteristic Pinot Noir earthiness along with floral notes that complement the tomato vinaigrette very well,” says Carroll. “But it’s not a traditional Pinot Noir. It’s unfiltered and unfined, and it almost drinks like a cider, adding brightness to this summer dish.”

Wrath 2016 Ex Dolio Falanghina (Monterey). The sulfurous compounds found in broccoli can make pairing a wine extra tricky. However, the tea-like tannins from skin contact in this pour have a pleasing bitterness than can cancel out the bitterness in cruciferous vegetables. It also has tangy citrus flavors that go well with crab, along with aromas of nuts and wet stone.

Published on June 20, 2019
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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