Quinoa Threesome Salad

Mix it up with this fresh combo.

Hello, fellow herbage fetishists! I’m about to embark on a week’s vacation to my home state and have been crazy busy this week – unfortunately, it hasn’t left me much time to play test kitchen or to blog. Most of my cooking has been of the fast and easy variety. Here’s a standby of mine that I often bring to potlucks, especially when it’s hot out (where I live, we had temperatures in the low 90s this week). Quinoa cooks 2-3 times faster than rice, and the bulk of the prep is just the chopping.

I forgot, when I went through all the labor of trying to cook something three ways before, that I had in my cupboard an already existing and harmonious threesome. I’m referring to that merrily polychrome seed grain, tricolor a.k.a. rainbow (yay pride!) quinoa. Some people would call it cheating, to pull something so obvious and easy out of my bag of tricks, but this deceptively simple recipe is actually straightforwardly delicious. It’s cool and refreshing but zesty, with a nice crunch from the raw vegetables and some sweetness from the carrot and pepper.

Serves around 4 as a main, but works fine for a crowd at a potluck. It’s probably about 4 cups.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup tricolor quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled (optional) and finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring the quinoa and 1 1/3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Turn the heat back to low and let simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Cover the pot and remove from heat and let the quinoa sit for at least five minutes to fluff up. Then uncover it and do some more fluffing yourself (with a fork). Let the quinoa cool to room temperature. This is a good time to do the chopping.

Add the quinoa to the chopped vegetables and parsley in a large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt and a pinch of pepper in a smaller bowl, add it to the quinoa mixture, and toss the salad all together. Add additional salt and/or pepper as you desire. Let the salad chill out for a while in the fridge if you’re able, so the vinegar and garlic flavors can really bond with the veggies and get all up in the quinoa.

I like to serve this eye candy over romaine lettuce, either on a plate or in a bowl (like the lettuce “cup” above). It looks like a wild party, but the ingredients are all good friends who would never hurt you.

One Comment Add yours

  1. mirandagualtieri says:

    Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

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