Hearty and super-healthy, quinoa is spectacularly versatile. Here is a recipe for a light and flavorful summer salad you can add to your outdoor entertaining repertoire. Your vegetarian guests will thank you.
1 1/2 cups quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 1/4 cups water or stock
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and diced
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and diced
1 avocado, peeled, and diced
4 oz corn-on-the-cob kernels (or frozen and thawed corn)
8 packed cups baby greens, such as arugula or kale
For the Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 small shallot, minced (optional)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1) Make the Quinoa: In a simmer pot, add quinoa over medium heat. Toast the grains for 2 or 3 minutes for a delightful nutty flavor. Add the water, raise the heat and bring to boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover, cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. The quinoa is ready when it’s tender and the grains have little rings around the edges. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa, but do not stir it too much, or it will become sticky.
2) Make the Dressing: Mix shallot, lemon juice and vinegars, then slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.
3) In a large bowl add the cooked quinoa, pepper, cucumber, tomato, avocado, corn and toss well, breaking up any lumps of quinoa. Drizzle with dressing and season with salt and pepper.
4) Serve over a bed of baby greens.