Bitter Melon Quinoa Salad

A coworker’s brother dropped off a crop of vegetables from their mother’s garden at work last Friday. This included something I’d never seen before, “bitter melon;” a beautiful bright green vegetable that looked like a bubbly cucumber. He recommended stir fry but that just wasn’t on my menu plan this week so I made a smoky, bitter, spicy and sweet quinoa salad. “The Flavor Bible” has an entry for ‘bitterness’ with a nod at bitter melon. “When a bitter component is added to a dish, it creates a sense of lightness.”

Thanks to my co-worker for this one!

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups low sodium beef broth
3 bitter melons cored with ends lopped off
1 big carrot grated
1/2 Carrot chopped
3 cloves garlics crushed with the flat of a blade then diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
6 radishes diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mesquite bbq sauce (you can leave this out I’m just momentarily taken with smoke flavor right now)
2 tbsp. Siracha sauce
2 tbsp. turmeric
Kosher salt

Process

Bring broth and quinoa to a boil for five minutes remove from heat and cover for 40 minutes.
Chop bitter melon then add to a pot of water with 3 tbsp. of kosher salt.
Bring to a boil for 4 minutes then strain and rinse in cold water.
Toss everything with a tsp. of salt in a large bowl until fluffed then chill overnight.

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