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Sharon's Quinoa Salad

By yogasharon, member

Posted: September 12th, 2012

If you can, make your salad well in advance, even up to a day before serving. This gives the grains time to absorb the vinaigrette and lets the flavors meld. Take the salad out of the refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes before serving so that it is not ice cold; it will be most flavorful when just slightly chilled or at room temperature. Created Using: Grain Salad
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2 cups quinoa
kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, more as needed
3 Tbs. rice wine vinegar, more as needed
1/4 cup capers or chopped caper berries
2 to 3 tsp. honey
freshly ground pepper
3/4 cups peeled diced avocado
3/4 cups diced bell peppers (any color; 1/2-inch dice)
3/4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
3/4 cups peeled, diced cucumber (1/2-inch dice)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup crumbled feta
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1-1/3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1-1/3 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
1-1/3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain. Bring 7 cups of water to a boil in a 4-quart pot over high heat. Add 3/4 tsp. salt. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding more boiling water as necessary to keep the quinoa covered, until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and rinse the quinoa with cold water to stop the cooking.

Transfer the quinoa to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, and toss lightly to coat. Spread the quinoa on the baking sheet and cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Put the lemon juice and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Whisk in the and honey. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice and rice wine vinegar or olive oil as needed.

Put the cooked and cooled quinoa in a large serving bowl and toss to break up any clumps. Add the avocado, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, dried cranberries, feta, pine nuts, cilantro, chives, and basil and 1/2 cup vinaigrette and toss. Taste and season as needed with more vinaigrette, salt, and pepper. Serve or refrigerate for up to 1 day. If making ahead, let sit at room temperature so it's not refrigerator-cold and season with more vinaigrette, salt, and pepper before serving.


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