Chipotles in adobo sauce is one of those ingredients that I shamelessly hoard at all times. It’s one of those magical ingredients that can, with a tiny amount, transform an entire dish. The heat and smokiness from the peppers with the tangy and slightly sweet red sauce lends itself well to things like refried beans, grilled meats, and anything that needs a little kick in the butt where flavor is concerned. And that’s exactly what happened with this Smoky Chipotle Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad.
I originally set out to make a quinoa salad that was reminiscent of Mexican street corn. Mr. Peach (or should I say Mr. All Thing Grilled All the Time) was more than happy to throw some corn on the barbecue for me. My plan was to essentially make street corn, complete with cotija and mayo, but then add some quinoa so its A) “healthy” and B) a “salad”. But when I actually started messing around in the kitchen, it turned into something else entirely. Something smoky and tangy and mayo-free. All good things.
Unable to procure any cotija at the grocery store (get it together, Eugene!), I subbed in some feta we had hiding out in the murky depths of the cheese drawer. It was a great addition, but could easily be left out if you wanted to make this dish vegan (just be sure to leave out the greek yogurt in the dressing, as well). And while we’re on the topic of substitutions, you could easily sub in canned corn and bottled roasted red peppers to make this super quick and easy weeknight meal. Though, if at all possible, I’d go with the grilled version below.It doesn’t take much longer and with the days of summer grilling dwindling (shh, don’t tell Mr. Peach), we gotta enjoy it while we still can.
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 3 ears of corn
- 2 red bell peppers
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 4 ounces of feta, crumbled
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Bring the quinoa and the vegetable stock to boil over high heat in a saucepan. Once boiling, cover and simmer over low heat for 15-17 minutes.
- Grill the corn and bell peppers over high heat for about 5-10 minutes until cooked and slightly charred. The corn will likely be done before the peppers. Remove from heat and set aside. Put the bell peppers in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. After about 10 minutes, or when the corn and peppers are cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife. Peel the skins off the roasted red peppers and dice finely.
- Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients except for the olive oil until well-combined. Drizzle in the olive oil slowly, whisking until completely incorporated. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, corn, peppers, green onions, feta, and cilantro. Add the dressing, and toss to combine.
- You can serve immediately or chill and serve cold.