I am crazy for quinoa (KEEN-wah) and have recently started searching out more recipes using this ‘super’ food. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. It also contains the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous.
If you can’t find red quinoa don't worry, white quinoa works too. Mixed with a few vegetables, fresh herbs and a handful of feta cheese on a bed of mesclun, it makes for a perfect summer salad.
2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup quinoa, red or white, rinsed
3 green onions, chopped
10 sundried tomatoes, reconstituted, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, diced
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Assorted, young salad leaves (chervil, arugula, lettuce, spinach, endive)
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa and cook on medium heat until the quinoa fully cooks and the water cooks off, 15 – 20 minutes. Allow quinoa to cool slightly.
Mix vegetables and thyme in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk in the Balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard, slowly adding in the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir the quinoa into the vegetables, add the vinaigrette and gently stir in the feta. Serve atop assorted, young salad leaves.
Makes 5 cups
Photo courtesy of Kitchen Parade