Summer Quinoa salad

I’ve always loved rainbows. The room where I spend my preteen years was covered ceiling to floor in rainbow kitsch. My favorite flag is South Africa’s rainbow of nations. I tearjerk at the sight of a beautiful rainbow after a summer rain. So when I found out that my absolute favorite grain, quinoa, now comes in a rainbow of colors, I think I shall never go back to unicolored quinoa again.

Alter Eco Fair Trade Quinoa is a luscious mixture of red, white and black quinoa that cooks up fluffy and very pretty every time. As more and more people are limiting their wheat intake either by choice or by force, quinoa has to be the best alternative to wheat. It has great structure after it’s cooked, its slightly crunchy texture is oh so appealing and best of all it cooks up in 15 minutes.

This summer salad is refreshing and light. It holds up pretty well for several days; something you can’t quite say with a real rainbow. Sigh.

1 cup Alter Eco Fair Trade Rainbow Quinoa
2 cups water
1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 medium yellow pepper, cored, seeded and diced
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 celery stalks, diced
2 scallions, minced (white part only)
1 cup canned, drained and rinsed chickpeas

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp minced fresh chives
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely minced
½ tsp sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Garnish: 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1. Prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve with cold water for 1 minute. Boil the 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Slowly add the quinoa and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through. Add the quinoa to a bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool.

2. Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables. Add the vegetables to the cooled quinoa. Fold in the chickpeas.

3. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, lemon juice, chives, mustard, garlic and sugar. Slowly in a thin stream, whisk in the oil and whisk constantly until the dressing is emulsified. Add the dressing to the quinoa and vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for ½ hour for flavors to mingle. Bring to room temperature to serve. Garnish with parsley.

All photographs and recipe testing courtesy of Olga Berman from Mango & Tomato.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011 at 9:57 am and is filed under Main Dishes, Product Reviews, Recipes, Salad Dressing, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Dishes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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