Happy New Year, everyone! Around the world, different people have their own traditions and rituals for ringing in the New Year. And food always plays a part.
For example, in Japan, it is customary to eat soba noodles during the New Year’s celebration to ensure a long life. In many Latin American countries, as well as Spain, 12 grapes are eaten—1 for each month—and it is hoped that the grapes are sweet as a harbinger of a sweet year ahead. In many countries, legumes are popular for New Year’s because they swell when cooked, symbolizing increased financial prosperity. Lentils, particularly, are used in Italy and Brazil.
In the United States, black-eyed peas are popular (the band and the legume) and Hoppin’ John is a staple New Year’s dish in the South. I made my own black-eyed peas dish incorporating the healthy grain quinoa. And to make it more festive, I used red quinoa. So, here’s the recipe for my New Year’s Red Quinoa and Black-Eyed Peas Salad. Enjoy.
New Year’s Red Quinoa and Black-Eyed Peas Salad
1 1/2 cups red or white quinoa, rinsed
2 3/4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
1 1/2 cups chopped bell peppers, mixed colors
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Haas avocado, cut into small dice
1/4 finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp flavored mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock until liquid has been absorbed and grains are tender. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
2. When quinoa has cooled, add remaining ingredients (except dressing).
3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix well and adjust seasoning as desired. If it’s dry, add more oil a little at a time and mix well.