Quinoa salad: A tasty summer side dish

quinoa salad
Quinoa salad (Jessica Grann)

By Jessica Grann

My quinoa salad recipe makes a fantastic gluten-free side dish. It has the bright flavors of lemony Israeli salad mixed with al dente quinoa, which tastes like bulgur wheat when cooked correctly.

This is similar to tabouleh salad but with more grain and less parsley than traditional tabouleh. It keeps in the fridge for up to a week. I tend to keep a rotation of pareve salads going, especially in the summer months, and this is one of my favorites to serve.

1 cup quinoa

1¼ cups water

5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 large seedless cucumber, diced

2 bunches of parsley, washed and finely chopped

4 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts

¼ cup fresh mint, thinly sliced

⅓ cup olive oil

Juice of one lemon

1½ teaspoons salt

Romaine lettuce leaves for serving

Optional: 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

The key to quinoa is not to overcook it into a mushy mess. It retains its firmness nicely if you follow these instructions.

Combine the dry quinoa with water in a pot and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat to simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, keep covered and let sit for 5 more minutes.

Remove the lid, fluff with a fork and let cool completely before mixing with the vegetables.

Stir the olive oil and salt into the cooled quinoa, then chop up the tomatoes, parsley and cucumber and add to the bowl.

Stir well, then chop and add the scallions, mint and fresh lemon juice.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. The flavors really soak in over time.

Add lemon, salt or another dash of olive oil for taste and, if you like, add 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese before serving.

I like to spoon the salad right into romaine lettuce leaves, creating a little boat for the quinoa.

Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh. This originally ran in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.

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