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
- In the rice cooker, mix together water, tomato, spices, and salt.
- Stir in the quinia, cover, and run it through its cook cycle.
- 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.
- Let the quinoa cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Mix in grilled veggies, baby kale, tomatoes, fresh herbs, green olives and feta.
- Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.