This hearty yet refreshing salad is perfect for potlucks, picnics and backyard barbecues. It provides the benefits whole grains and lots of colorful vegetables in one dish and requires no last-minute preparation. The base of the salad is quinoa, which although it is treated like a grain, is actually a seed. It is gluten-free and it supplies complete protein, as well as magnesium and fiber. Quinoa has a delicate, nutty flavor and cooks in less than 20 minutes
- ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 cups (8 oz) green beans, stem ends trimmed, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ tsp grated fresh lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallot (1 large)
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste, divided
- Pepper to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup snipped fresh chives
1. Combine quinoa, water and 1/8 tsp salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to large bowl and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
3. Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, pepper, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil.
4. Add cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley, chives, and green beans to quinoa. Add lemon dressing; toss to coat. Salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. If you would like to make it the day before, store the blanched green beans separately and toss them into salad shortly before serving (the acid in the dressing causes green beans to discolor).
Yield: 6 (generous 3/4-cup) servings
Recipe by Patsy Jamieson