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Quick Quinoa Summer Salad

July 24th, 2008 by Brooke

A few years ago, there was a pot luck luncheon at work and my coworker Leah made this chilled quinoa salad that has for some reason stuck in my brain as the quintessential summer flavor. I set out this weekend to make a quinoa summer salad of my own that satisfied my longing for the robust combination of flavors in my memory. I used Arrowhead Mills quinoa and I thought it prepared true to the instructions and tasted great. In the end, I discovered an unexpected yet delicious recipe that certainly comes close to hitting the summer spot. We served ours beside homemade chicken salad sandwiches with lemonade.

Quinoa Salad

Quick Quinoa Summer Salad (serves 6)

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 5-6 apricots diced (I cheated and used some in a jar. You could also use dried apricots.)
  • 2 TBSP crumbled feta cheese
  • 5 mint leaves, cut into thin threads. Save extra sprigs for garnish.

Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 TBSP each of lemon juice, lime juice and orange juice (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package (simmer about 10-12 minutes). Rinse cooked quinoa under cool water in a mesh strainer and place in a bowl. Set the bowl in the refrigerator to chill. While it’s chilling, you can slice and dice the salad mix-ins.

In a measuring cup, combine citrus juices for dressing. Slowly whisk in olive oil to make a vinaigrette.

Once the quinoa is cool enough that it won’t steam or change the texture of your mix-ins, add the fruit and vegetables, stirring gently. Drizzle vinaigrette across bowl and top with crumbled feta, mint leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently to combine all the flavors. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Optional protein punch: Add fresh shrimp, diced chicken or garbanzo beans.

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