a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
I picked up a lovely toasted sesame-flavored black tea during my first visit to an Adagio retail store last fall in Chicago. This tea has just the right balance of flavor; it’s not too overwhelmingly sesame and it has a hint of toasty sweet. Ever since I purchased it I’ve wanted to make something with it in my tea foodie kitchen.
I finally found an excuse to test out the sesame tea with one of my favorite things to make on a weekend—a quick and easy quinoa salad. Quinoa salad makes for a tasty weekend lunch or snack. I like to make a big batch so I can take some to work for a healthy lunch early in the week.
When we make quinoa salad at our house, we’re usually emptying the fridge of any and all veggies that need to be used up. Sometimes we’ll add leftover cooked pork chop or chicken breast. Sometimes we’ll dress it simply with a nice olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or sometimes we’ll whip up a creamy curry dressing.
For this recipe, I played on the toasted sesame tea flavors and made an easy dressing that includes sesame oil, soy sauce and orange juice. And I cooked the quinoa in a strong brew of the toasted sesame tea.
This is not the last you’ll see of this toasted sesame tea from my tea foodie kitchen. I have an idea brewing for a sesame shitake ramen next.
Happy cooking and sipping!
Makes 4 servings
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sesame flavored loose leaf black tea (I used Toasted Sesame from Adagio)
½ cup quinoa
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
½ cup each carrots, cucumber and green beans, julienned
¼ cup scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken or pork (optional)
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional, but highly recommended)
1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add loose leaf tea and steep, covered, for 7 minutes.
2. Strain tea into a new saucepan and add quinoa. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn heat off and allow quinoa to sit another 5 minutes. Remove cover, fluff quinoa with a fork and allow it to cool.
3. While quinoa is cooking, whisk together canola oil, sesame oil, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce and white pepper in a medium bowl, and set aside.
4. Prepare the veggies, then add them to the bowl with the prepared dressing and toss to combine.
5. Fold in the chicken, cilantro and cooked quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with black sesame seeds before serving.