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The Food Processor

Little-Known Grain Gives Tuna Salad a New Taste

August 18, 1988|JANE SALZFASS FREIMAN and Jack Smith | Freiman is a New York-based food writer

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a little-known grain from the highlands of Peru that appeared in health food stores about five years ago. Often called the super grain because of its high protein content and relatively low calorie count (about 130 calories in a 1 1/2-ounce serving), quinoa cooks as easily and quickly as rice and has a delicious mild, nutty flavor.

This salad is based on the Middle Eastern tabbouleh, normally made from cracked wheat, and tuna is a good addition. The quinoa can be cooked on top of the stove, or in the microwave, and while it cools, vegetables can be perfectly and quickly processed with the French fry disc.

To cut French fries, potatoes are loaded sideways in the food chute, since the cutting edge of the disc is shaped like a square, and as it tunnels through the potatoes, long French fries result.

QUINOA AND TUNA SALAD

1 1/2 cups quinoa

Salt

1/2 cup firmly packed parsley leaves

1/2 pound cucumber, peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise

1/2 pound firm ripe tomatoes, quartered

1/2 small red onion, peeled, quartered

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (7-ounce) can chunk light tuna, drained

Hot pepper sauce

Place quinoa in fine strainer, rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Transfer grain to 2 quart saucepan. Add 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender and slightly translucent, about 20 minutes. Cool. (Or, place quinoa, 2 cups water and salt in 2-quart microwaveable bowl or casserole. Cover and microwave on HIGH (100% power) 5 to 7 minutes. Microwave on MEDIUM (50% power) 5 to 7 minutes. Let covered bowl stand 5 minutes. Uncover and cool).

Insert metal blade in dry food processor. Process parsley until minced. Change to French fry disc (or 4 mm slicing disc). Process cucumber and tomatoes with gentle push and transfer contents of processor to large mixing bowl.

Change to thin (2 mm) slicing disc. Slice onion with gentle push and add to vegetables. Add lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, tuna and dash of hot pepper sauce to vegetables in bowl. Stir in quinoa and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve at room temperature. Makes 6 to 8 servings

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