¼ cup liquid crab boil or 3 tablespoons Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
1 fresh lemon, quartered
1½ pounds small raw Louisiana shrimp, peeled
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot over high heat, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add a liberal handful of salt and garlic. Add the quinoa and bring back to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cover the pot and let cook until tender and the chicken stock is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa remain in the liquid for another 5 minutes. Uncover and taste the quinoa for doneness. Using a colander, drain the liquid and place the quinoa in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
In a large pot over high heat, add the water and the wild rice along with a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, or until done. Drain the liquid and add the rice to the same bowl containing the quinoa. Stir the two together with a fork to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
In a large pot over high heat, fill halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook the vegetables until blanched, about 2 minutes. Drain the vegetables into a colander and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Move the vegetables to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
In a large mixing bowl, add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, tomato, figs, and sliced shallots. Add the quinoa and wild rice along with the lemon juice and zest. Toss all together and combine evenly. Cover and refrigerate.
In a large pot over high heat, fill halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the crab boil, lemon quarters, and a handful of salt. Add the shrimp and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink. Remove one of the larger shrimp and test for doneness. If done, turn off the heat and drain the shrimp into a colander. Run cold water over the shrimp to stop any carryover cooking. Drain and remove the shrimp to a paper towel-covered platter and dry up any moisture.
Add the shrimp to the bowl containing the quinoa, rice and vegetables. Toss the salad while lightly drizzling the extra virgin olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld and all ingredients cool.
For serving, remove the bowl and uncover. Sprinkle with salt and grind black pepper over the salad and toss once more. Serve a generous portion on a salad plate evenly distributing the shrimp and other ingredients.
To reduce any bitterness, pre-wash bulk quinoa in cold water through a fine mesh strainer. I use chicken stock in this recipe, but water would be fine. A little crab boil goes a long way -- go easy on the spice. The dressing is made in the salad with a combination of lemon juice and a light drizzle of olive oil picking up the flavors from the tomatoes and other ingredients.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at /2014/09/22/quinoa-a-grain-of-truth/