Quinoa is one of the hippest super grains on the market these days. It’s protein content rivals meat, and it’s packed with other vitamins and minerals. I like to eat it hot for breakfast with almond milk, blueberries, and a touch of honey. This salad has been one of my favorites for years. It’s one of those things that makes me excited about summer, and it’s hard to say goodbye once the weather turns colder. Like most grains, cooked quinoa comes in at around 200 calories/cup. This salad comes in around the same. Enjoy it for a snack, side dish, or a meal.
Cooking quinoa can be a little tricky. The ratio is 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. For this recipe, it’s 1 1/4 cup quinoa to 2 1/2 cups water. Place the quinoa and water in a saucepan or small dutch oven. Add one teaspoon of kosher salt and turn the heat to medium high.
When the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down so it remains at a low simmer.
Continue cooking until most of the water is absorbed. Turn the heat to very low, cover, and continue to cook, stirring often. Cook until all of the grains appear cooked and darker. It’s important not to over cook the quinoa as it will turn into mush.
Place the cooked quinoa in a fine strainer, and rinse quickly with cold water. Allow to drain.
Spread the cooked quinoa in a thin layer on a sheet pan so it continues to cool.
While the quinoa is cooking and cooling, prep the vegetables. Cook the fresh corn in boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the pot, and set aside to cool.
Peel and remove the seeds from the cucumbers. The best way to do this is to cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a small spoon.
Small dice the cucumbers and set aside. Small dice the red onion. Set aside.
Cut the grape tomatoes in half. A great tip is to lay them flat on a cutting board, hold them in place with your hand, and cut through them horizontally. This method is much more efficient than cutting each one individually.
Set the tomatoes aside.
Once the corn is cooled. Cut the kernels off the cob. Set aside.
Chop the herbs and set aside.
Okay. Gather the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon. Also gather all of the prepped vegetables you have set aside. Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl.
Add the cucumbers,
red onion and corn.
Add the herbs.
Stir the mixture until combined. Squeeze in the lemon.
Add the oil, vinegar, kosher salt, and pepper.
Stir mixture well and serve. Delicious!
SUMMER QUINOA SALAD RECIPE
1 1/4 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
2 ears fresh corn, cleaned
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 medium red onion
2 large cucumbers
1/2 cup packed flat leaf parsley, washed
1/2 cup packed fresh dill
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Diamond Krystal kosher salt (use half if using Morton’s)
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1. Place the quinoa, water, and one teaspoon kosher salt in a saucepan or dutch oven. Turn the heat to medium high. Place a second pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil for cooking the corn.
2. Bring the quinoa to a simmer. Lower the heat and lightly simmer the quinoa until most of the water has been absorbed. Turn the heat to very low, cover the pot, and stir often. Keep cooking until all of the quinoa is cooked. Do not over cook.
3. Transfer the quinoa to a fine mesh strainer and quickly rinse with cold water. Drain well and spread the cooked quinoa in a thin layer on a sheet pan until cooled completely.
4. Cook the corn in the boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes. Remove the corn from the pot and set aside to cool.
5. Prepare the vegetables. Peel the cucumbers, remove the seeds, and cut into small dice, Set aside. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, set aside. Small dice the red onion. Set aside. Cut the kernels off the corn, set aside. Chop the herbs, set aside.
6. Place the quinoa in a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and corn. Add the herbs and toss the mixture to combine. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Toss well to combine and serve.
Makes about eight cups of salad. 191 calories/cup. Salad can be refrigerated for several days.