As the second part of my Bulmers week, I decided to go all vegan. Quinoa is a very usual ingredient in our kitchen. There isn’t a Peruvian household without it.
Many people don’t know about red quinoa though. Red Quinoa is a more crunchy and exotic kind of it. Normally cooked with broth or water but why not Cider.
When I think of Cider, everyone thinks of apple cider with ice in a summer day, but not about a cooking ingredient, and less a vegan ingredient.
Most ciders aren’t vegan. they have honey on them or other animal ingredients. Since about 2017, Bulmers ciders are vegan (thank god!) I used the Red Berries Bulmers for this dish.
You would think that this cider is only made with berries, but is indeed an apple cider mixed with red berries and cut with a refreshing taste of lime.
350 ml Bulmers Red Berries Cider
1 cup of Red Quinoa
2 cups fresh Baby Spinach
1 fresh Apple
1/2 cup Roasted Walnuts
1 Sweet Potato
For the Dressing:
3 tbsp Bulmers Red Berries Cider
2 tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp pomegranate juice
60 ml Olive oil (1/4 cup)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 180C. In a small pot add the quinoa, cider and a bit of salt and bring it to boil. Reduce heat to minimum and close the lid. Let it simmer for 20 minutes. This is the caramelization process.
A very interesting fact about using cider while cooking is the caramelization. Because of all the natural fruits, cider contains a certain amount of sugar. When a liquid with sugar is slowly cooked, it will caramelize in the same way those Xmas nuts are roasted with sugar. Instead of boiling the quinoa with water or broth to obtain some flavor, I boiled it with just cider. The quinoa ended up soft inside and crunchy on the outside with an exquisite sugary flavor with some hints of berries. Try caramelizing other food, like slow-cooked pork for the meat lovers or sprinkled over some cheese before baking.
Toss the sweet potatoes in a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and some salt. Bake for 17 minutes. Now the quinoa and potatoes are baking and simmering, and we will start the dressing.
Normally I wouldn’t double an ingredient in a recipe, but as I used cider to make the quinoa tasty, I could as well use the same cider for my dressing. I thought of using a vinaigrette to lower the sweetness of the quinoa, the acidity of it played a big role here. Bulmers Red Berries is sweet but the apples and lime bring out that acidity point I was looking for. I added some extra vinegar to make the emulsion though… as chemistry will always be chemistry… wink wink
Soooo, for this vinaigrette dressing add all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth, season with some salt.
When the quinoa is done, put it in a bowl and fluff it a bit with a fork and let it cool a bit. Add the pomegranate, parsley and add some spoons of the dressing. Mix well
In a bed of fresh baby spinach, add a couple of scoops of the quinoa and garnish with sweet potatoes and the ciders main ingredient: Fresh red apples. Sprinkle some walnuts and add a bit of the dressing over it. Enjoy best with some cold Bulmers Red Berries. I promise it won’t be too much.
As I said before, each ingredient has its own flavor: Caramel, acid and fresh cold berries. Now hurry and make it at home and enjoy in one of these warm summer nights!
Here you can find all my fave recipes, from oldies to paleo and from family secrets to restaurant inspired gems.