1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water and a slotted spoon or spider near the pot of water.
2. In a small bowl, toss the shallot with 2 tablespoons of the Buttermilk Dressing.
3. Drop the broccoli in the boiling water and cook until tender but still crispy, about 1 minute. Remove the broccoli from the pot to the ice water. When cool, remove the broccoli from the cold water and drain it on a clean kitchen towel laid on a baking sheet.
4. Bring the water back to a boil and pour in the quinoa. Cook for 12 minutes or until slightly al dente. Drain.
5. In a large bowl, toss the warm quinoa with 2 tablespoons of the Buttermilk Dressing and sea salt to taste. Let the quinoa cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
6. Toss the quinoa with the broccoli, macerated shallots, parsley, tarragon, pistachios, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of dressing. Taste for seasoning and add more salt to taste.
Makes 1¼ cups
I have a pet buttermilk culture that I need to refresh a couple of times a week, so I’m always pleased when I come up with another good use for the gently soured milk. My live-culture buttermilk slips into smoothies, and of course when I’m not doing a cleanse, it makes pancakes taste great.
This recipe is one of my favorite uses: It’s reminiscent of ranch dressing but with a lighter, cooler touch. It pairs beautifully with tender herbs such as chives, parsley, tarragon, and mint, but I don’t mix those in until I assemble the salad, since they don’t keep as well as the dressing will on its own.