Grilled Vegetable Quinoa Salad

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Happy Summer!! I realize today is officially the first “real” day of summer, but I packed up the last of my stuff and moved out of my classroom on Wednesday, so I’ve already been on vacation. =)

There are two things I love most about summer food — the fact that we can cook most things on the grill, and… the salads! I love how versatile summer salads can be, and we make lots of them around here — endless green salads, fruit salad, potato salad, Ukrainian salad, chopped salad, pasta salad, tabouli, slaws, barley salad, wheat berry salad, wild rice salad, buckwheat salad, and now I can add quinoa salad to the list. We haven’t cooked much with quinoa until now, but we had an abundance of it in the pantry, so I surveyed what else we had and designed a yummy summer salad to take to our end-of-the-year potluck.

Here’s what you need:

  • Rice cooker
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste or 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon each cumin and coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa (I used yellow grain, but you could use another)
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • more salt (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetables, grilled and finely chopped (I used a mix of red onion, red pepper, and asparagus)
  • 1 handful baby kale, finely chopped
  • 1 handful grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 palmful mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used a mix of mint, parsley, cilantro and dill)
  • 5 green olives, smashed, pitted and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  1. In the rice cooker, mix together water, tomato, spices, and salt.
  2. Stir in the quinia, cover, and run it through its cook cycle. 
  3. When quinoa is cooked, fluff it with a fork and immediately dress with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt (to taste) — you should make it a little saltier than you like because the flavor will mellow when it cools. 
  4. Let the quinoa cool for at least 30 minutes. 
  5. Mix in grilled veggies, baby kale, tomatoes, fresh herbs, green olives and feta. 
  6. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
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Kat Salemno

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