Saturday, July 29, 2017

Red Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Chickpeas

We celebrated summer tonight with Chicken Mojito, Jiddo's Hummus Bi Tahini, and a fabulous Red 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. If you prefer to go vegetarian, serve this quinoa salad with mixed greens. Whether served as a main course or a side dish, this dish provides a perfect summer lunch or supper.


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
1 bunch of fresh mint leaves, chopped
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and/or pistachio nuts for garnish
Salad greens, if serving as a main course salad

For the dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
3 tsps. honey
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. (Quinoa can be rinsed in cold water to cool faster. Drain well.)

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 or as a side dish. Pass seeds and nuts at the table. Enjoy with crusty bread and a summery dry rosé or crisp white wine. Easily serves 6.

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