Saturday, September 15, 2012

Red Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Chickpeas

We celebrated the end of summer tonight with good friends, Greek Roast Chicken on the BBQ rotisserie, and a fabulous Quinoa Salad. By combining different recipes, I came up with this nutritious, delicious, Spanish inspired dish, which I've made several times to rave reviews. A hand or two of whist, a game of Mexican Train Dominoes, a summery rosé wine, and we had a perfect Saturday!


For the salad:
1¼ cups red quinoa
2½ cups water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
1 10-oz. bag spinach, washed and roughly chopped
2 baby seedless cucumbers,
            or ½ long English seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and/or pistachio nuts for garnish
Salad greens

For the dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
3 tsps. honey
1 - 1½ tsps. smoked paprika
1 large garlic clove, minced or put through a press
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. Bring broth to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add quinoa and simmer about 20 minutes (red quinoa takes a few minutes longer than white to cook), until "halo" appears around the grains. Fluff quinoa. Let sit partially covered for five minutes, then turn into a large bowl to cool.

2. Fold spinach, chickpeas, mint, and cucumber into cooled quinoa.

3. Whisk dressing ingredients together, fold into salad, and chill.

4. Serve over salad greens. Pass seeds and nuts at the table. Enjoy with crusty bread and a summery dry rosé or crisp white wine. Easily serves 6.


  1. Hi, Pat. I'm curious. Do red quinoa taste different than the plain-colored quinoa?

  2. Hi, Dawn! To me, red quinoa has a slightly nuttier flavor than white quinoa, and it has to be cooked a tad longer. Otherwise, there's really no difference. I've come to love both. There's also a black quinoa. Haven't tried that yet, but I will!