Quinoa Salad RecipeThis quinoa salad recipe is light and nutritious, has a bright fresh flavor and brings a lot of lovely color to the plate. You can serve it with fish, seafood and poultry and it's a great dish to bring to picnics and outdoor cookouts. You can serve it warm or chilled, whatever you prefer.
I've made a few notes on preparing this quinoa salad, which you can read below the recipe itself.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups rainbow quinoa
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 cup whole heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
- ½ cup whole Italian parsley leaves (removed from stems), roughly chopped
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinaigrette
- Kosher salt, to taste
- In a wire mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water for about a minute.
- Combine the quinoa and chicken stock in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until dry and fluffy, not soggy.
- Meanwhile, dice the onion, zucchini and bell pepper into very small pieces called brunoise. Keep them separate because you're going to add them to the sauté pan one at a time.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes over medium heat until the onion is slightly softened. Then add the zucchini. Cook another few minutes until the zucchini begins to soften. Now add the bell pepper. Cook for about five minutes more. Season to taste with Kosher salt, then remove from the heat an set aside.
- When the quinoa is finished cooking, turn it out into a large bowl and fluff it up to let the steam escape.
- Toss in the cooked vegetables and stir to combine. Then add the quartered tomatoes and the chopped parsley. Finally, drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss the whole thing until it is fully mixed.
- Serve warm or refrigerate for an hour or so to chill.
- I like to use rainbow quinoa, which is a blend of white, red and black quinoa. The white quinoa is light and fluffy, the red has a nice nutty flavor and the black gives it a nice crunch. You can sometimes find a blend already made up, or you can just buy the different kinds of quinoa and mix it up yourself. The ratio is about 50 percent white, 25 percent red and 25 percent black. Of course, you could just use all white, or a combo of white-red or whatever you like.
- I specify chicken stock for cooking the quinoa, but you can use vegetable stock if you prefer to make the recipe vegan. Or you could just use water, but if you do, be sure to salt the water before you cook the quinoa.
- I like to use heirloom cherry tomatoes because I like the different colors. But if you can only get your hands on regular red cherry tomatoes, that's fine too.
- In my recipes, I usually don't specify classical knife cuts like the brunoise, as I do here. But I really do find that having the veggies as close to the same size as a grain of quinoa makes the salad more attractive. Remember that the veggies will shrink a little when you cook them and the quinoa will fluff up, so you don't need to use a microscope to do your knife cuts. Just get them as small as you can.