Let’s close our eyes and imagine this monumental moment in American history: It’s July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress closes its session for the day and John Adams takes a moment to write his dear Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, curried quinoa salad, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Yes, from our remarkable forefather, and determined by the democratic votes of dear Pear readers, this Fourth of July was one of cornhole, fireworks, and curried quinoa salad. You voted, I made it, neighbors loved it.
While a number of new foods and flavors crossed the Atlantic in the late eighteenth century, the combinations here were likely uncommon. If only I could time travel to Mr. Adams’ day and gift him with a subscription to Bon Appetit…
Curried Quinoa Salad with Mango
from Bon Appetit, makes 2 servings
1 cup quinoa (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mango chutney, chopped if chunky
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups chopped peeled mango (peaches are a perfect substitute)
1 cup chopped unpeeled English hothouse cucumber
5 tablespoons chopped green onions, divided
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
Note: I bought mango slices in the deli section, having not planned ahead for ripe mangos. I also recommend adding any or all of the following for extra sweet crunch: diced peaches, dried fruit (apricots or cranberries), red bell pepper.
It is important to rinse quinoa well before cooking. (I used the steam method and found it makes the quinoa too gummy). Cook quinoa in medium pot of boiling salted water (I used chicken broth for flavor) over medium heat until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain well and cool.
Transfer to medium bowl.
Whisk oil and next 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Add chopped mango, cucumber, green onions, any other fruits and veggies you are including, and 1/4 cup dressing to quinoa; toss to coat. Divide spinach between 2 plates. Spoon quinoa salad over spinach. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve. Or, toss it all together in a big bowl and serve the next day!
I spent my Independence day crying to Mao’s Last Dancer, painting furniture for my music room, and serving this salad to new friends. (Even my father-in-law loved this salad!) How did you celebrate?