Lemony Quinoa Summer Salad

You’re probably getting tired of all the seafood dishes I post on my blog! Truth is, the seafood that’s available during the summer-time in Seattle is incredible.  I get enough beef and chicken the rest of the year that I try to make the most of all the fresh salmon, shrimp, and scallops while they last.  We’ve been stuck in a bit of a heat wave over the last two weeks here in the Northwest.  I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the sticky, suffocating temperatures wafting over the east coast, but when you’re used to a mild, soggy July, it can be a bit overwhelming.

All I wanted tonight was a light salad bursting with bright, fresh flavors.  I craved a dinner I could scarf down and still have the energy to do jumping jacks afterwards. So here’s what I came up with.  Quinoa is an airy grain that cooks up quickly like couscous, but with just the slightest bit of crunch.  I like it a bit better though  because it has more texture and tends to soak up the flavors of whatever you mix it with.  You’ll want to cook up extra so you can enjoy it for lunch the next day too!

Lemony Quinoa Summer Salad

1 Cup of uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of diced cucumber

1 cup of diced tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped basil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

pinch of sugar

1 clove of garlic, pressed

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

big pinch of salt and pepper each

Bring the water to a boil and add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and quinoa.  Turn the temperature down to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa has just a slight crunch to it.  (If your water evaporates before the quinoa is cooked through, continue to add water a 1/2 cup at a time until the grains are tender)  While it’s cooking, mix up the vinaigrette.

Mix together one clove of garlic that has been pressed or minced, with the zest and juice of a lemon and a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity.  Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking with a fork.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

In a big bowl, combine the quinoa with the vinaigrette, cucumber, tomato, and basil.

Related posts:

  1. Roasted Potato Salad With Sea Beans and Bacon
  2. Zucchini Couscous Cakes
  3. Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

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